Why We Hate Mark Jackson
April 14, 2003 / SI:
The NBA’s alltime assist leader [John Stockton] may be getting a push out the door by his new backup this season and the No. 2 man on the career assist list, 38-year-old Mark Jackson. Three members of the Jazz organization now understand why Jackson has been traded seven times in his 16-year career: They say that over a period of weeks, he succeeded in turning several teammates against Stockton by repeatedly remarking that those players would be better off if Jackson were the Jazz’s floor leader. Other players rallied around Stockton, who, because of his quiet nature, was vulnerable to the locker room politicking. The rift on the Jazz was mended, though not before Stockton’s pride had been wounded. “There was no question it hurt John, because you could see him withdraw,” says a high-ranking team official. “But he’ll never talk about it, just as he won’t talk about injuries, because then he feels like he’s making excuses for himself.”
Sloan reached a breaking point in mid-January, when he lost his temper over the divisiveness on his team and stormed out of the gym during practice. He was threatening to retire then and there, only to be dissuaded at an emergency meeting called by team owner Larry Miller, president Dennis Haslam, general manager Kevin O’Connor and Sloan’s wife, Bobbye. “That had the real potential of Jerry saying, ‘To heck with it,’ and walking away,” says Miller, who believes that Sloan’s seven-game suspension for shoving referee Courtney Kirkland on Jan. 28 was the result of his built-up frustrations.
Update, June 28, 2012: The day a story broke on Mark Jackass being the target of an extortion plot by a stripper with whom he cheated on his wife of 22 years. What was this stripper holding over his head? Nude pictures and pictures of his genitalia that he had sent her.
I actually don’t like that the media is calling this an “extortion” case, as anyone subjected to viewing such pictures (which Jackass obviously and delusionally thought were attractive and sexy) deserves significant compensatory and punitive damages.