It’s the NBA version of Defcon 4.
Stephen Jackson missed the bus to today’s shootaround before tonight’s game with the Knicks in New York. As a result, he has been suspended for the game, and Shaun Livingston will start in his place. (Update, 4:48 PM: Charles F. Gardner is reporting that Jackson has not been suspended, but rather that he will be fined and still miss the game.)
Given Jackson’s recent benching and subsequent reply, this doesn’t bode well for a peaceful 2012 in Milwaukee. After getting benched for the second half in the Bucks’ most recent game – a loss to the Nuggets – Jackson game out with some passionate but controlled postgame quotes (as reported by Gardner in the Journal Sentinel).
If they want to blame it on somebody, I’ll take the blame. I guess they expected me to spaz out and go crazy, but it’s too late in the game for that. I don’t know what they were trying to prove. When he (Skiles) didn’t play me, my thoughts were to support the young fellas and support everybody out there and try to get this win.
Later that night, he pounded out this reply tweet on Twitter – a less than ringing endorsement of Skiles, even if he had only meant to acknowledge the moral support:
And to be fair, if Jackson’s play on Tuesday was heavy-legged, Scott Skiles could be viewed as culpable as Jackson himself. After playing 40 minutes on Monday in Philadelphia and traveling back to Milwaukee, it is not surprising that he wasn’t particularly fresh. Bogut, after playing 42 minutes in Philly, fell into the same predicament. He too had subpar first half against Denver, and played short minutes in the second half. But, however, Bogut reacted to Skiles’ move far better than Jackson did.
At Thursday’s shootaround, Jackson and Skiles also made a point to speak diplomatically in interviews.
As of this afternoon, Miami’s 400 Club was still advertising Jackson’s scheduled Saturday night appearance before Sunday’s game against the Heat.
Mike Dunleavy is also expected to return after an absence for a groin injury, and Luc Mbah a Moute could see his first action of the season as well after missing time for knee tendinitis.
Jackson recently added this tweet to his account:
Egad. What kind of different story is that exactly?