MILWAUKEE (AP) - Stephen Jackson says he’s misunderstood, thanks to a steady stream of outbursts on the court and his involvement in the infamous 2004 Pacers-Pistons brawl.
That doesn’t mean he’s going soft.
The veteran shooting guard promises to bring some attitude to the Bucks after a three-way draft day trade landed him in Milwaukee.
“There’s no time for being babies or being scared,” Jackson said. “If you’re scared, go to church.”
Jackson was both brash and charming during his introductory news conference Wednesday. At one point, he cracked up Bucks general manager John Hammond and coach Scott Skiles as he bragged about his exploits in a YMCA basketball game as a child.
Jackson said he’s happy to be with the Bucks, something that wasn’t quite clear as the trade came together last week _ although he’s bound to raise a few eyebrows around town by mentioning that Milwaukee generally is considered a “boring city” by visiting players.
“The only perception that I’ve had from other teams is coming to a boring city,” Jackson said. “That’s what they always say. But since I’ve been here, the weather’s been great. I didn’t expect the weather to be so great. When I come, there’s snow everywhere.”
Jackson also said he isn’t bitter about being traded by Charlotte.
“I didn’t want to be on a team where they’re going younger and they want to win three years from now,” Jackson said. “I’ll be at the end of my career. So winning now is important to me, and this is a great place to win now.”
Jackson was confused as to why the Bobcats held him out with an injury toward the end of last season.
“The last 10 games, I could have played,” Jackson said. “But they shut me down. The team shut me down. So I kind of assumed they didn’t want to make the playoffs.”
Jackson has 6-foot-8 size and a shooting guard’s skill set, making him a matchup problem. He also can play small forward, although he wants to bulk up if the Bucks want to use him that way.
An 11-year NBA veteran, Jackson averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 67 games for Charlotte last season. He believes the Bucks are “one player away” _ and believes he’s that player.
“I know what I can bring to this team, and I know what it takes to get to the playoffs,” Jackson said.
Milwaukee continued making moves Wednesday, picking up contract options on Brandon Jennings and forward Larry Sanders.