Usually, roster moves this time of year involve tweaks to the end of the bench, so San Antonio's decision to waive Stephen Jackson, who averaged close to 20 minutes per game this season, comes as a surprise. We're beginning to hear some of the reasons why the team let Jackson go, as well as some reaction from the locker room.
- The timing of the move was strategic, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. Jackson and the team had discussed a release prior to the trade deadline, but the Spurs preferred to wait until after the March 1st deadline for him to have been eligible to play for another team in the postseason.
- Jackson has made just one appearance of at least 20 minutes in the last month, so his lack of minutes made it easier for the team to make the move. Still, it was a risk, since Jackson was popular with his Spurs teammates, notes Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
- Danny Green, one of Jackson's now-former teammates, expressed shock as he explained his feeling about the move. Dan McCarney of the San Antonio News-Express has the details in three Twitter links.
- Gregg Popovich addressed the move with reporters this evening, and fellow Express-News scribe Jeff McDonald shares some of his remarks. "Tough decision, because on a personal basis, I’ve known him a long time and I enjoy him very much," Popovich said of Jackson. "But you’ve got to make decisions that are tough sometimes. We thought this was best for our group." (Twitter links)
- Popovich also called the move "a basketball decision and a family decision." Jackson took the news in a "classy" manner, Popovich added, though the coach wouldn't answer whether he thought Jackson had been disgruntled (Twitter links).
- The move caught Jackson off-guard, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Spurs felt Jackson had begun to have a negative influence on the team's younger players, and the team's brass didn't feel like Jackson's play of late was justifying the disruption.
- The Spurs front office knew what it was getting with Jackson and had wanted to add "edge" to the locker room when the team acquired him last season, tweets Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.