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Ball Don't Lie

Stephen Jackson is cool with paying fines for technical fouls

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Stephen Jackson realizes he forgot to record "Undercover Boss" (Rocky Widner/ Getty).

The NBA fines owners, players, and team executives for all manners of violations from on-court disruption to improper comments to the press. The idea, obviously, is that taking money for certain actions deters those people from acting in the same way in the future.

The career of Stephen Jackson would suggest differently. Over his 13 seasons in the league, Jackson has cultivated a deserved reputation as the sort of player who earns fines. That's especially true when it comes to technical fouls — Jackson is one of a handful of players to hit enough techs in a single season to be hit with a suspension.

You'd think that he'd curtail his behavior, given the considerable financial burden those technical fouls place on Jackson. Except, according to Jackson, he takes that cost into account when he decides to act out. From Mike Monroe for the San Antonio Express-News (via SLAM):

Jackson earned two technical fouls in the first three games but insisted he had not forgotten to think before reacting in those instances.

"I thought about those techs," he said. "I got fouled the second time (against Utah) and the other time, (Oklahoma City's Serge) Ibaka was running his mouth a little too much. I will never get disrespected by nobody. I'm going to go out a man. If I get disrespected, I'm going to get a tech. Point-blank."

Though NBA fines start at $2,000, Jackson isn't concerned.

"I've saved up a lot of money the last 13 years," he said. "I'm good. I'm a man first. Before you disrespect me, I'm going to spend some money. I ain't tripping on that. But you're going to respect me."

Jackson has discussed this issue before and said roughly the same thing. In 2011, as Jackson's tech count went higher, he claimed that he gets the fouls because he wants to, not because he can't control his behavior. These actions define who Jackson is as a basketball player, and it seems as if he's incapable of divorcing that kind of behavior from the psychological edge he brings to every game he plays.

While it might seem weird to consider a negative effect on the team and his bank account as a necessary part of playing in the NBA, Jackson has proven over the years that he ends up as a net positive, sometimes extremely so. If he thinks he needs to act a certain way to succeed, then that might be the only way he can be comfortable on the court.

And that's probably fine as long as Jackson realizes it and plans accordingly. If he, his coach, and his financial planner are all on board with the approach, then it can work. Sometimes a bad thing can lead to a good thing.

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