Despite suspension, Jackson to lead Golden State as captain

Webster's Dictionary defines a captain as "a person of importance or influence in a field."

Stephen Jackson's past might not have put him in that category, but his future certainly will.

The Golden State Warriors named Jackson as one of its three team captains, along with Baron Davis and Matt Barnes.

"We have great confidence in him as a player and a leader, and I think you'd hear that from most people who have spent time to really get to know Jack," Warriors coach Don Nelson said.

Jackson will start the season with a seven-game suspension from NBA commissioner David Stern. Jackson pleaded guilty in June to a felony count of criminal recklessness stemming from an incident in which he fired a gun outside an Indianapolis strip club during training camp in October 2006. He was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service and fined $5,000.

Jackson, who has been known to argue with officials and was ejected from two playoff games last season, has a past that includes being part of the infamous brawl at the Palace at Auburn Hills in November 2004. Jackson was suspended 30 games for his involvement.

After a playoff game last season where Jackson vociferously complained openly about the referees, the newly appointed captain drew a fine from Nelson. But Nelson said he respects Jackson for his passion and energy.

Jackson, who is sporting a new tattoo, says the ink references his past while looking to his future. The image shows two praying hands in front of a church window holding a gun.

"I pray I never have to use it again," he explained to reporters.