Gregg Popovich Told Stephen Jackson Not to Expect a Contract Extension

by June 19, 2012

Stephen Jackson has made a habit of demanding unrealistic contract extensions whenever he joins a new team, but Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs made sure this wouldn’t be the case when they acquired him. Per the Express-News: “A year after signing an extension with the Warriors, he asked for a trade. A year after landing in Charlotte, he sought another contract extension. It was a primary reason the Bobcats sent him to Milwaukee. Then, a year ago, after a formal press conference at the Bradley Center, Jackson said he intended to discuss a contract extension with Bucks officials, too. When asked how important a contract extension was for him, Jackson told reporters: ‘It’s mandatory.’ […] The Spurs won’t give him an extension. There’s no reason to lock up someone of that age and stature. It’s business. Besides, Tim Duncan played this past season on the last year of his contract. Still, Jackson has been headstrong before. And that’s why what happened in the minutes before the March trade mattered last season and matters now. Then, Jackson was readying to board a Delta flight in Minneapolis, heading to join the Warriors, when the Spurs called. Popovich told Jackson they were close to completing a deal for him. Popovich didn’t tell Jackson this: The phone call, in part, was to make sure they didn’t hear anything crazy. So Popovich laid out his priorities. He told Jackson he wanted his toughness, and there could be minutes for him. But Popovich also told him he liked Kawhi Leonard as his small forward, and nothing would be guaranteed. Then, Popovich said something else. ‘We’re not talking about an extension.’ This is the power of clarity and honesty. Popovich does it as well as anyone, and it’s a reason Jackson has said Popovich connects with him better than any other coach has.”