Stephen Jackson left the San Antonio Spurs last week under secretive circumstances, and now it’s been revealed that the absence came after his wife suffered a miscarriage of the couple’s first child.
The 34-year-old swingman cited “personal reasons” when he left the team just before the February 11 matchup with the Chicago Bulls. It seemed an odd time for Jackson to be leaving the team, the San Antonio Express-News noted, as the Spurs were in the midst of an important road trip facing the top teams in the Western Conference.
It was even odder given Jackson’s reputation as an ironman who once made it to practice after being hit by a car that day, Yahoo! Sports added.
This week it was revealed that Stephen Jackson left to be with his wife, Renata, who suffered a miscarriage and lost the child she had been carrying for more than 26 weeks.
Jackson, who returned for the team’s game Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers, said getting back to work was a good diversion from the tragic situation.
“I’m as good as I can be,” Jackson said before Thursday’s game. “I’m happy to be back with the team. I need to be back with the team, just for my own sanity. Basketball and being around these guys helps me a lot, so it’s definitely something I needed.”
Renata is not handling the miscarriage as well, Jackson said.
“My wife is not doing too well, so I’m happy I had a coach like Pop who gave me the time to be with her,” he said. “In order for me to help her I also have to help myself because this was a baby we were definitely looking forward to having. Being back with the team hopefully is going to help me be able to help my wife even more.”
As word of the miscarriage for Stephen Jackson and his wife spread, fans mobilized to show their support for the player. Message boards and news articles filled with comments extending condolences, and some fans even said they planned to send cards to the team for Jackson.