by Marcel Mutoni

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still can’t get over the fact that Stephen Jackson will be wearing the proverbial “C” on his jersey this season. Yes, the man who escalated and took things to a legendarily stupid level during The Brawl to End All Brawls a few years back is expected to lead the Golden State Warriors into battle in 2008. 

It’s doubtful that Jack would have ever reached Capo Status on any squad but Golden State (which, let’s be honest here, is not exactly the most conventional franchise), but the fact remains that he is a now a certified leader of men. Jackson, 29, entering his eighth season in the League, says he has matured and sounds ready to assume his new role. From the Consta Costa Times:

“I think I’m growing up,” said Jackson. “I’ve still got that little Stack Jack on my shoulder, but Steve is standing up and kind of pushing him further and further off. But I’ve got to have Stack Jack sometimes, because that’s what gives me my edge on the court.”

“If I blow up, it’s not just about me blowing up,” Jackson said. “It’s about my team losing me on the court and my team losing their focus, because a lot of these young guys look at me and say, ‘Well, if he can scream at the referees, I can do that, too.’ And that’s not the way I want to lead. I want to lead by example, and I want to lead by doing the right things.”

Fear not, though, Stephen still has a healthy touch of crazy in him (emphasis mine):

“If somebody puts a flagrant foul on Baron, I want to be the guy that puts a flagrant foul on their key player. I’m still that same guy.”

Ah, that’s reassuring. I was starting to get worried that someone had kidnapped the real Whoo Jackson and replaced him with an actor. 

The look on referees’ faces when the captains’ meeting takes place before Warrior games this season will be absolutely priceless.