Charlotte Bobcats captain Stephen Jackson says he's sick of excuses - doesn't want to hear them from himself or any of his teammates. One excuse you clearly won't be hearing is that Jackson isn't in shape.

The guy loves to take his shirt off these days and it's obvious why. Since the end of the season in mid-April, he's lost 18 pounds. He's so trim and cut, you hardly recognize him.

He says this is the best he's felt since joining the NBA 11 years ago. Two weeks ago, when he dunked for the first time in a month, he shocked himself with how much more lift he has.

"The older I get, the more I have to take care of myself - stop eating fried food, stop eating fast food," said Jackson, who turned 33 in April. "It's giving me more energy. I wish I'd known that when I was young, but sometimes it takes injuries and stuff to make you realize how hard you have to work. Me having that hamstring last year was a blessing in disguise."

That hamstring strain kept Jackson out of 13 of the Bobcats' last 21 games, effectively killing their playoff chances. It was Jackson's first significant injury, and he acknowledges that he deluded himself into thinking he was indestructible.

"I'd never missed that many games in a season," Jackson said Friday. "I came into camp last year heavy and then I lost too much weight in camp. At the end of the season, my body wasn't there."