I was in such a good mood when I strolled into work today. It's Friday, it's sunny, it's supposed to be in the mid-60s (which isn't bad for Chicago in October). Plus, I always goof off a little bit on Fridays, so I was looking forward to catching up on my blog reading. Then I check my e-mail, and I've got a message from my buddy Dave. The subject line reads:

"I'm just about done with the Pacers"

Earlier this week, on this very blog, I described how terrified I am to read any news articles involving the Pacers. They've done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, the news is bad every time. And I know that doesn't make sense, but it still fills me with dread, because I'm just waiting for something to go wrong. Being a Pacers fan is like having unprotected sex and not using any method of birth control: you end up spending all your time sitting around, twitching nervously, afraid to answer your phone or check your e-mail, living in mortal fear of the words "My period is late."

So I didn't even read the e-mail at first. I follow my daily routine. Go into the lunchroom, get my big glass o' water, chat with a few co-workers. By the time I get back to my desk, I've got an e-mail from another buddy (and Indiana resident) Greg. The subject line is just "Basketbawful," but I know it's about the Pacers. Shit.

Suddenly, the Pacers upcoming season flashes before my eyes, and I figure there are three distinct possibilities:

1. Jermain O'Neal is injured and will miss some or all of the season.

2. The Pacers fired Rick Carlisle and hired Larry Brown (not unprecedented).

3. Stephen Jackson did something stupidly, stupidly illegal.

Turns out
it was number three. But it was worse than I could have imagined. I'm not even going to paraphrase; here's most of the Yahoo article:
"Indiana Pacers player Stephen Jackson was hit in the mouth, struck by a car and fired a gun outside a strip club early Friday, police said."
Jackson, 28, told officers he fired his 9 mm pistol four or five times in the air in self-defense after he was punched and hit by a car outside the club, said Sgt. Matthew Mount, spokesman for the Indianapolis Police Department.

Jackson went up onto the hood of the car, Mount said.

There were no reports of anyone being struck by the gunfire, and police did not make any immediate arrests. Police are looking for the car that hit Jackson and others involved.

An argument involving patrons, Jackson and other members of the Pacers began inside the club, Mount said. The players said they left the club, but patrons followed them outside.

"At some point when leaving the club, a verbal altercation ensued that turned into a physical altercation," Mount said.
Holy back-flipping break-dancing Christ!! This is particularly amusing (in the sad and completely frustrating way) in light of the fact that NBA.com recently ran an article about Jackson's new "positive attitude." Said Jackson:
"I had a lot of soul-searching to do this summer. The last two years was probably not the best years but the biggest learning years of my career. Everything we've been through as far as me stepping up and being a leader on a team, me basically taking a lot of heat from the team and me having the most ups and downs I've ever had, I think this year I'm approaching it trying to be more positive in my game, getting back to the San Antonio Steve Jackson. A lot of the stuff the last two years, it was hard for everybody to deal with. All the negative stuff that was going on took a toll on everybody in the organization and it showed in our play – a lot. My biggest thing this summer was being more focused on the positive things, helping other people and helping my game and staying on the court."
Less than a month after saying these words into some PR guy's tape recorder, Jackson goes to a strip club, gets in a fight, gets run over by a goddamn car, then goes all trigger happy. Yeah, that's a real focused, positive attitude, Steve. Fuck. More on this later, if I can find the will to go on.

Editor's Note: Jackson wasn't even alone and unsupervised. He had other Pacers with him: Jamaal "Injury Waiting To Happen" Tinsley, Marquis "I Am A Huge Pussy" Daniels, and Jimmie "Who The Hell Is This Guy" Hunter. Tinsley and Daniels, by the way, also had guns. Daniels' had a permit issued in freaking Florida. Oh, and lest I forget, there was some wacky weed in Tinsley's car. Nice.

Another Editor's Note: Earlier this week, the Indianapolis Star ran an article about how the Pacers were working to win back their fans. CEO Donnie Walsh said:
"We're trying to acknowledge things are going to change and go back to the value system that we've had for most of the time in the last 15-20 years."
Then the article noted how Stephen Jackson had "promised the Pacers he's not the same moody malcontent who questioned everyone from game officials to [coach Rick] Carlisle last season." Then Walsh said:

"The reason I believe he'll be different is because he approached me and said he spent the ummer evaluating himself. He said he knew he had to change some of the things he's done in the past and he's determined to do that."
Pfft!! Good call Donnie!!
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ha HA! When I saw that on ESPN this morning I thought immediately of your reaction and your post earlier this week. I thought, "He hit it right on the head." Silly Stephen...following in Ron's footsteps...of being batshit insane.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you forgot to mention that when the searched Jamaal's car they found a bag of weed.

Although that's kind of assumed in most NBA arrests.