I'm quite impressed by Stephen Jackson's open letter to Bobcats fans, which has been zipping around the Internet troday and reads in part:
People do not like to admit they are wrong, but my actions in Milwaukee last week resulted in an ejection and ultimately an NBA suspension for the next game. As a result, I let myself, my teammates and my coaches down, but more importantly, I let our fans down. In my heart, I know I have to adjust my emotions on the floor and I vow to work harder than ever to not put myself or this team in that situation again.
I understand the rules that the NBA has established to govern players’ behavior on the floor and I respect the job the officials have each night. NBA players are bigger, faster and more athletic than ever, so being able to call a perfect game each night and see every foul is tough, and I have to take that into consideration.
(Read the full letter here in Rick Bonnell's always excellent Bobcats blog).
After being around Jackson a good bit, I believe he has the best of intentions. I think he truly wants to "adjust my emotions," as he puts it. He wants to win. He doesn't like to let people down. And this letter is a nice gesture -- many athletes have done a lot worse than this and never apologized for it.
Cynically, I wonder how long it will take for Jackson to get his next technical and/or to berate the next ref who fails to call a foul when he drives to the basket (and he always thinks he gets fouled, on practically every drive).
But I'm willing to give Jackson another chance. I've written many times that he needs to change his attitude and control his temper on the court. Say this for him -- he's obviously trying to do just that.
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