Stephen Jackson: Today’s ‘spoiled’ NBAers don’t love basketball

Two things are certain when it comes to today’s NBA.

1. The game has changed in style and culture in the last decade.

2. Stephen Jackson isn’t afraid to talk about it.

Jackson, who debuted in the league in 2000 and retired in 2014, was asked about Anthony Davis and other players who have tried to force their way off teams and said today’s NBA players are “spoiled” and “don’t love the game.”

“I love the fact that players have control of where they want to play,” Jackson told reporters before Thursday’s game between the Warriors and Kings. “But at the same time, guys got to be professional, too. I would be the first to say these guys these days, they’re spoiled. A lot of them are spoiled.

“And I was talking to a Hall of Fame football coach and he said one thing he sees about basketball from the outside looking in, more players today are interested in what the game can do for them. They don’t actually love the game like we did. I’m 41 years old and I still play the game every day. And I can see that the love for the game is not there, but I’m happy that we had a hand in for these kids to be able to get the money that they’re making and the game is going I’m happy [about] that, but at the same time they got to be professional and continue to show fans that they love the game too because it can get away from that.”

Don Nelson, Stephen Jackson and Jason Richardson pregame

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Former Warriors coach and NBA player Don Nelson acknowledged the changing culture between the league today and when he played from 1962-1976, lauding the benefits enjoyed by players today.

“You couldn’t leave a team. You were there for life. As long as they wanted to put you on the roster you had nothing to do with a lot of things that are important to players today which is movement, money, salaries,” Nelson said. “So it’s way better now than it used to be because I was in those locker rooms in the old days when you couldn’t — once you were with a team you couldn’t leave.”

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