When I was in 8th grade a girl that absolutely hated me was having a graduation party. Naturally, due - in part - to my confrontational sense of humor and her inability to take a joke, I did not get an invite. However, damn near the rest of my graduating class did, and some of them seemed very dead set on me attending. They got in my ear and told me I should just show up because the host would be so distracted by the all the people that were invited that she wouldn't even notice the one person who wasn't. Well, I gotta tell you, I must have made quite the impression on this girl, because it didn't take more than one game of pickup basketball in her driveway before she came barreling out of the backyard - like the heat-seeking DUFF that she was - to boot me from that party. Was it embarrassing walking down the street to my 9th grade friend's house while the entirety of my peers were pushing each other into the pool and scoping out the yard for convenient places to make out? Yes, it was. Was a potentially fun filled day spent partying in the backyard of a suburban home owned by overly trusting parents worth the risk of getting caught? You're goddamn right it was.
That's why I don't fault Stephen Jackson at all for inviting himself to Golden State camp before promptly having that fabricated invitation rescinded by the person in charge of giving out actual invitations. I suppose he didn't have to go around flapping his gums about it, but why wouldn't one of the most famous Warriors of all time (for right and wrong reasons) try to weasel his way into a tryout? If ever there was a team that was vulnerable to giving a grizzled old retiree - that has no business being on a professional basketball court at the age of 38 - a pass then it would be the 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors. We are talking about the same team that has considered plucking Ray Allen from the nearest Club Med to fill out their roster. As stunned as I was when some mildly popular girl sprung into action when she spotted me - amongst 200 other kids - at her pool party, it doesn't even compare to how shocked I am that the Warriors didn't just say "ahhh fuck it, sure, why not?" when they heard Stephen Jackson was trying to talk his way through the door. Why can't they just let the guy throw up some jumpers with the boys? Hell, why can't they just carve out a spot for him on the end of their bench? He probably should have asked before publicly announcing he planned to show up, but it's not like his presence alone is going to be what stops the single most talented basketball team of all time from bringing home a title.