‘My Name is Stephen Nasty Jackson’

by May 28, 2012

Kevin Durant may have gotten his buckets last night — 27 points, 8/19 from the field — but he had to work extremely hard for them. Which is precisely what Gregg Popovich had in mind when he told Stephen “Nasty” Jackson to stay in Durant’s shirt. From the Express-News: “Before the fourth quarter began, Popovich told his Spurs in a huddle, ‘I’m seeing a little bit of unconfidence,’ which is neither grammatical nor inspiring. But the Spurs needed to hear all of it. They trailed by nine points, led by a defense that had become Mike D’Antoni-ish, to paraphrase another Popovich phrase. So then came ‘I want some nasty,’ and the ears of someone perked up. ‘My name is nasty,’ he said, and someone asked him if ‘nasty’ was indeed his middle name. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘My name is Stephen Nasty Jackson.’ […] If not for Manu Ginobili showing up right on time, the Thunder would have stolen the opener with a grip on the series, too. But Popovich kept searching for a lineup that worked, and he eventually stuck with Gary Neal and four guys from the 2003 championship. That meant Jackson, who barely got off the bench against the Clippers, would get a turn against Durant. […] Nasty? ‘What he meant,’ Jackson said, ‘was to be physical, not dirty.’ Jackson watched the Thunder-Lakers series, and he said he thought Metta World Peace gave Durant too much room. He wanted to get into Durant, sometimes fouling him, always bothering him. The numbers tell of that. Durant, playing every second of the final quarter, scored six points on six free throws. Jackson said, ‘No one person can stop Durant.'”