2. Spurs Reunite with Stephen Jackson, Part with Jefferson (2012)
Stephen Jackson's first stint with the San Antonio Spurs was pretty magical, as he rose the ranks from hardly getting playing time to being a key contributor in a championship run in just two seasons. That's why a move to reunite with their once postseason hero while shedding some dead weight thrilled me when I first heard of this trade on March 15th, 2012.
In the deal, the Spurs sent T.J. Ford, Richard Jefferson, and a conditional 1st round pick to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jackson.
After having multiple All-Star-caliber seasons with the New Jersey Nets to begin his career, Jefferson never quite fit in with the Spurs since joining them at age 29. Despite his minutes only dipping by about five per game, he went from scoring 19.6 points per game in his lone season with the Bucks to 12.3 in his first season in San Antonio.
There has been a lot said about Jefferson's effort level in San Antonio, and from seeing it firsthand, it's all warranted. That's why seeing him dealt while getting back one of the heroes of the 2003 championship run was a big deal -- or so I thought.
Unfortunately, several spats between Jackson and the organization ended up in them waiving him just one week before the 2013 NBA playoffs, which was the start of two straight NBA Finals appearances.
Whether it was for thinking he deserved more minutes than Manu Ginobili, not being a team player, a toxic attitude, or probably all of the above, the messy divorce has left a bad taste in Jackson's mouth ever since.
Jackson has gone on to declare himself part of "Team Kawhi", called Rudy Gay a brown-noser, and has taken multiple digs at Coach Popovich since his last departure.