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Jackson fined $50,000 for outburst in Game 2

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A $50,000 fine won't take the emotion out
of Stephen Jackson's game with the Golden State Warriors.

Jackson was hit with the hefty fine by the NBA on Friday for his
conduct after being ejected late in the Warriors' Game 2 loss to
the Dallas Mavericks two days earlier in their first-round playoff
series.

Jackson left the court in a contentious, roundabout manner after
getting his second technical foul, shouting at officials and
verbally sparring with Mavs fans. Though Jackson expressed remorse
for getting tossed, he didn't believe his behavior warranted the
ejection -- and the controversial swingman knows he can't change his
ways.

"I play the game with a lot of emotion, and I can't play any
other way," Jackson said Friday night before the Warriors hosted
Dallas in Game 3. "Obviously I will be smart on some things, but I
will continue to make emotion a big part of my game. ... There's no
such thing as being too pumped up. When you know what's at stake,
you can't play any other way."

Even before Jackson was tossed for the very definition of
failing to leave the court in a timely manner, Warriors star Baron
Davis also was ejected from Game 2, apparently for sarcastically
applauding the officials late in the third quarter of their 112-99
loss.

On Thursday, Golden State coach Don Nelson said he planned to
fine both players even if the league didn't announce any
discipline. Nelson didn't disclose the amount of his fines, saying
only, "It will be substantial."

"We think that we've handled our end of it the best that we
can," Nelson said at Friday's shootaround.

But $50,000 seemed to be a small price for Jackson to keep
playing the aggressive, passionate basketball he loves -- and Nelson
agrees Jackson must keep his emotions under control, yet close to
the surface.

Jackson didn't play college ball, and he kicked around the CBA,
Australia and Venezuela before rising to a lengthy NBA career with
five franchises in seven seasons, including a championship year
with the San Antonio Spurs.

Jackson didn't have a thuggish reputation until his involvement
in the Indiana Pacers' infamous brawl in the stands at the Palace
of Auburn Hills on Nov. 19, 2004. Jackson eagerly jumped into the
stands and threw haymakers after a fan threw a beer at Pacers
teammate Ron Artest.

Jackson got a 30-game suspension for his actions -- yet he
wouldn't change them.

"I would go in the stands to get my teammate again," Jackson
said. "I wouldn't go in the stands and punch somebody, but I would
go to help my teammate."

This season got off to an awful start for Jackson in October,
when he fired shots in the air with his pistol outside an
Indianapolis strip club in an apparent attempt to break up a fight.

Jackson is scheduled to go to trial May 10 on a felony charge of
criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of battery and
disorderly conduct. The incident also violated Jackson's probation
on misdemeanor assault-and-battery charge from his role in the
Palace fight, which could result in 30 days in a Michigan jail.

Jackson then was traded to the Warriors on Jan. 17 in an
eight-player deal that revitalized Golden State's season and
Jackson's career. He was a key contributor to the Warriors' stretch
run into their first playoff berth in 13 years, and he averaged
26.5 points while Golden State split the first two games in Dallas.

Though his trial still looms, Jackson gets nothing but love and
respect from Golden State fans. He speaks fondly of being cheered
during his travels around Oakland, and he hopes to give them more
occasions for celebration this spring and next season.

"I've grown a lot," he said. "I had a tough year. A lot of
things happened this year. You look back over my career, I've never
been in any trouble (before the Palace brawl). People are thinking
I'm the person that did all the things this year, but I'm not that
person."