BUCKS BEAT: Jackson puts contract demands on hold

2011-12-22T20:08:00Z 2013-12-09T19:25:49Z BUCKS BEAT: Jackson puts contract demands on holdGERY WOELFEL gwoelfel@journaltimes.com Journal Times

MILWAUKEE - Stephen Jackson still wants a contract extension from the Milwaukee Bucks.

But he no longer has a sense of urgency about getting it.

Jackson made it quite clear after the Bucks acquired him in a trade with Charlotte in June that he wanted more years and, of course, more money, tacked on to his current two-year pact.

"It's mandatory," Jackson told The Journal Times then.

And, in recent weeks, Jackson quietly let it be known that he wasn't thrilled with his contract and was contemplating approaching Bucks management about it.

But Jackson, whom the Bucks are hoping will be a key cog in their quest to return to the NBA playoffs, said he's putting his contract extension request on hold.

"I'm going to go ahead and let it die down," Jackson said. "Right now, I know it's not the time to talk about contracts or anything like that. It's about focusing on getting to the playoffs."

Jackson said the primary reason for delaying his contact request was not to create any team problems. Jackson has repeatedly stated since his arrival in Milwaukee that the Bucks are a legitimate playoff team, touting the talents of veteran center Andrew Bogut and young point guard Brandon Jennings.

"I don't want it to be a distraction to the team," Jackson said, referring to an extension. "We have a great team. We have a chance to do something great."

Jackson, 33, will be paid $9.2 million this season and $10 million next season. He told The Journal Times he wants a two- to three-year extension.

Under rules of the collective bargaining agreement, Jackson is eligible for at least 7.5 percent pay increases annually.

As such, the first year of his extension, if the Bucks grant it, would be $10.75 million.

"This is probably the last time I'm going to address it," Jackson said about his contract situation. "We'll see how this plays out.

"It would be good to finish up here, I'll tell you that. I love it here.

"Like they say, ‘You play good, they pay good.' "

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Jackson revealed that when he and his wife, Renata, flew to New York City Tuesday to get a second opinion about his back from a non-team doctor, it was on Bucks owner Herb Kohl's private plane.

"I wanted to get back in time and to get at least a practice in before playing (in Wednesday night's MACC Fund Game against Minnesota)," Jackson said. "It worked out. It was really nice of the owner to help me out."

Jackson also shed some light on his back problem, which had kept him sidelined for most of the preseason.

"I just have to play with it," said Jackson, who vows to be ready for the Bucks‘ regular-season opener Monday night against the Bobcats in Charlotte. "Surgery is not an option.

"The trainers and doctors are doing a great job of keeping my back loose. Hopefully, I won't have to have surgery or any shots."

Asked specifically about his back ailments, Jackson said, "I got bone spurs in my back. My bottom disc is completely gone. It's normal, though. It's not abnormal. It's normal wear and tear from playing so long.

"So, it ain't that serious. I can still play for the next five years. See, I said five years. That's all I got. I'll be 38."

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