Stephen Jackson arrived in Boston just 12 hours before his first shootaround with his new team.
But he was already prepared to make his mark as a Clipper.
Jackson, who officially signed late Tuesday night, pulled out a pair of custom Jordan Brand sneakers in Clippers’ colors and his initials stitched on the outer side. He talked about defense, and what it meant to be back in the league after the 35-year-old former champion watched the first six weeks of the NBA season from his San Antonio home.
“It’s a blessing just to be back and get another opportunity to play again,” Jackson said. “The way the season ended last year I just wanted to get back and approach the game different this year and get back and do what I love to do and that’s play basketball. I’m just thankful that the Clippers gave me an opportunity with some great young guys, a great team and to just be a part of it.”
Bringing in Jackson, a 6-foot-8, versatile guard/forward, became a necessity due to injuries on the wing to Matt Barnes (torn retina), Reggie Bullock (sprained ankle) and J.J. Redick (fractured hand and torn ligament in his wrist). He will be available Wednesday night against the Celtics.
“That’s a guy you can bring in and hopefully he can give you something right away,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said on the eve of his return to Boston. “He fits that bill for us, a guy who can hit shots and defend and give us some toughness, so I thought it was a good fit. After doing all our research and talking to a lot of people we thought we’d take the jump.”
In 13 seasons, Jackson has appeared in 72 postseason games, including starting all 24 games for the world champion Spurs in 2002-03 and 11 more starts as one of the leaders of the “We Believe” Warriors in 2006-07 where he played alongside Barnes and former Clipper Baron Davis.
“We welcome it,” Blake Griffin said of the addition of Jackson. “We need the help. He’s obviously done it for a long time and been with a lot of teams so I think he has experience coming into new situations and contributing. I thought he was good for the Spurs for the last two years. We welcome it.”
During Jackson’s time with the Spurs Tim Duncan called him the “ultimate teammate,” and Jamal Crawford, who briefly played with Jackson in Golden State, thought he would be a good fit for a Clippers team that has aspirations to go deep into the postseason.
Jackson is the only player on the Clippers’ roster who has won a title and one of two players (Redick) to play in the NBA Finals.
“Stephen has played well [in the past],” Rivers said. “He’s been good enough to be on a championship team.”
Jackson thinks he fits well, too, and said for him it starts on the defensive end of the floor.
“I think from the start, the thing I know right now is to defend,” Jackson said. “That’s something I love to do. I’m going to take on that role with a lot of pride right now.”
“I was in a small place in my life and I was going to retire. It’s not even a question. I said, ‘I’m tired of fighting.’ I was feeling sorry for myself. I was depressed over where my career was going. I was also down with my health.” Toni Braxton on her depression and whether suicide was ever a thought: “[I was] not suicidal, but it was a close relative. I’ve got my kids to live for, but I was in a hopeless stage in my life.” Babyface on Toni Braxton quitting the music business: “Toni was kind of just talking about giving up, just not really wanting to record anymore-she was not just having fun at it anymore. I didn’t think that was a very good idea. I talked her into changing her mind … You know, you can get frustrated with the music industry, but I never get frustrated with the music. The music is what drives us to begin with. So I don’t think I ever lost sight of that.” Babyface on how Love Marriage & Divorce got off to a rough start: “Working with Toni was a little bit different than working with her years ago, because now, we’re dealing with a grown-up Toni who certainly has her own opinion in how she thinks things should be. So we went through a lot of compromises putting this record together.”
Tinker Hatfield revolutionized the sneaker world with his groundbreaking designs for Nike, including the famous Air Jordans.
SoundCloud: GLC Ft King Chip & Chevy Woods – Holdin
GLC rounds up Cleveland’s own King Chip and Pittsburgh’s own Chevy Woods for his latest release called Holdin produced by Mr. Live.
There are certain moments of parental pride you know are coming: their first words, first steps, first date. And then there are the ones that blindside you. Like this: The night before the Nelson Mandela memorial service, my 13-year-old son said, “Dad, I’m going to wake up at 4 to watch the Mandela memorial.”
I was so proud that he was so inspired. He’s an all-star basketball player who mainlines ESPN. Now he wanted to get up in the middle of the night to watch CNN. Great success.
And when President Obama spoke for our nation, I was grateful we’d heard his remarks live. Obama captured President Mandela’s remarkable capacity to awaken activism. Across oceans, across continents, across racial divides, across generations, Mandela sparked what Robert F. Kennedy described to the South African people as “ripples of hope.”
One of those ripples of hope inspired a skinny college kid with a funny name who’d been more interested in rebounds than revolution. “Over 30 years ago,” Obama said, “while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.”
Same here. Unlike our president, I was always interested in politics. (As an athlete, I was small but slow.) But at the University of Texas, something deeper happened. The Black Student Alliance erected shanties on the West Mall. They challenged their fellow Longhorns to take responsibility for UT’s role in apartheid. The university’s endowment, flush with billions of petrodollars, invested in corporations that did business in South Africa.
That meant my ridiculously cheap tuition was in some way subsidized by profits from propping up apartheid. I learned names like Biko, Tambo, Sisulu, Tutu and of course, Mandela. Most important, I learned, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. taught, that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” that we are all tied into “a seamless garment of destiny.”
It was thrilling to be a part, however infinitesimal, of something larger than myself. Even then, with my government on the side of apartheid, I knew we students were on the right side of history. I saved my “Free Nelson Mandela” t-shirt all these years.
This week, I dug it out and showed my sons. I told them about the anti-apartheid movement and how, years later, I joined President Clinton in a White House meeting with Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president. We talked about the confidence that comes from knowing you’re on the right side of history.
It is that same confidence that, I believe, was behind Obama’s decision to shake the hand of Cuban leader Raul Castro.
Raul’s brother, Fidel, had been a steadfast supporter of Mandela’s African National Congress, even when the United States was on the wrong side of history. And Mandela never forgot a friend. That is not to excuse the horrendous human rights record of the Castro dictatorship. In his oppression, his censorship, his decades-long war on basic democratic rights, Fidel Castro was the anti-Mandela.
I believe Obama shook Raul Castro’s hand for the same reason Reagan shook Gorbachev’s or Mandela shook that of F.W. de Klerk, the last president of an apartheid South Africa: because he knows he’s on the right side of history.
Years ago, I accompanied Clinton to a meeting of the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Moments before the President was to speak, I peeked out into the audience, gasped and sprinted back to Clinton’s holding room. “Mr. President,” I said gravely, “Fidel Castro is on the front row.” No one had told us Castro would be there. Clinton was unflappable. “Good,” he said. “Maybe he’ll learn something.”
Clinton stood before Castro and the other assembled world leaders and spoke confidently of “a revolutionary idea: that freedom, freely elected governments, free markets, the free flow of ideas, the free movement of people (are) the surest route to the greatest prosperity for the largest number of people.”
I doubt Fidel actually learned much from Clinton’s speech. And I am not naive enough to believe Raul Castro will emulate Mandela simply because Obama shook his hand. But I do believe in the transformative, unpredictable power of sending out a ripple of hope from the right side of history. And I was thrilled that Obama’s ripple of hope bobbed over a sleepy seventh-grader in the predawn darkness, watching the arc of the moral universe bend toward justice.
Nike Air Zoom Flight The Glove
Color: Black/Court Purple-Volt
Release Date: 12/21/13