Danny Fortson returned from a two-game suspension Monday with fire for NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, calling the executive a “gangster” for the nearly $200,000 in fines Fortson was docked for his latest transgression with an official.
Jackson suspended Fortson for the second time this season. Fortson was angry that Kobe Bryant received the same penalty for a forearm shiver to Memphis’ Mike Miller.
“What Stu Jackson just did is criminal as far as I’m concerned, like a gangster, like somebody strong-arming somebody, taking their money,” Fortson said Monday before the Sonics’ 115-96 loss to Indiana. “Handing out (the same) fines and suspensions (for what) Kobe Bryant did and what I did, it’s unfair. It’s criminal. He needs to know that. It’s criminal fines in the work force.”
“I tried to work things out, but (Jackson’s) going to fine somebody $200,000 almost for something that a referee lied about,” Fortson said. “He lied. I am standing by what I said. I don’t care. He lied, as simple as that. He said I said something that I didn’t say. As a matter of fact, I had the GM Rick Sund watching the game. He read my lips. The man is going to sit there and not investigate people, my teammates, my coaches and just go off something that an official flat-out made up and lied about.”
“Just because he’s Stu Jackson, maybe I’m supposed to be scared not to speak my mind,” Fortson said. “But you know what? If I see wrong as being wrong, I am going to say it, as simple as that.”
The Tacoma News Tribune’s Frank Hughes quotes Forston as saying “I am not going to let Stu Jackson (above) gangster me out of money for something that wasn’t investigated. That is a gangster move. Gangster. That is gangsterism.”