Stu Jackson Rumors
“I don’t know if we ever go back,” said Stu Jackson, who is currently the senior associate commissioner of men’s basketball for the Big East Conference. “The evolution of the big guy in the NBA, in large part, was started by the way basketball around the world is being played. The influx of international players who trained differently and played more skillfully than domestic players was a big influence. It helped dictate the skill requirement and agility of today’s front-court players. “There’s still plenty of room in the game for a great back-to-the-basket player to score and thrive in the game. But on defense, he’d better have some versatility to be able to defend on the perimeter. That’s just how players play now. Wilt Chamberlain would have difficulty playing against some teams now defensively. I don’t think current players want to go back. The skill makes basketball beautiful.”
The NBA’s review of Dwight Howard’s contact with Andrew Bogut concluded that it did not rise to the level of excessive because Howard was trying to free himself from a tie-up with Bogut, president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told CBSSports.com Tuesday. “It was a very close call as far as I’m concerned,” Thorn said. “As Bogut is holding his arm down, Howard tries to extricate his arm. He doesn’t hit him with his elbow, by the way. He hits him with the back of his hand, maybe a touch of the wrist. To me, it was unnecessary, but I didn’t think it was excessive.”
Stu Jackson is a former NBA head coach and the former executive vice president of the NBA. More recently, he has worked as an analyst on NBA TV. All those jobs make him uniquely qualified to answer a set of questions about the league from the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand: Q There is a lot of talk of “tanking” and teams intentionally losing in the NBA. How much of that do you think is perception and how much is reality? A My view has always been that the perception is greater than the reality with most teams. I think every franchise has reasons why they make certain decisions with their personnel, in terms of managing their salary cap situation to allow for certain trades or free agency, and it really depends on the stage of development respective franchises are in. Those decisions are not the same for everyone. For some it might take on the appearance that a team is tanking when they’re really just managing their own development.
Also, 10 years later, the NBA has not experienced another event as devastating as the brawl — a credit to the league’s response. “Out of a horrible incident like this,” said Stu Jackson, former NBA Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, “some positive changes came about. As bad as the incident was, it was also an opportunity to define who we were as a league, as teams and players, and make a statement that this type of incident wouldn’t be tolerated. I think all we could expect of ourselves at the time was that we address the situation appropriately and move forward.”