Stephen Jackson is trying to make an NBA comeback, but if it doesn’t work out for him, he sounds like a guy who could potentially have a long media career ahead of him. Over the course of the last few months, Captain Jack—who has served as a guest analyst on ESPN's The Jump and appeared on other ESPN shows—has generated headlines by offering up his opinions on everything from the D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young scandal to A$AP Rocky’s controversial comments on social issues. He also has lots of stories to tell about, well, everyone. Seriously. Name a person, and there’s a good chance Jackson will have a story to tell about him or her.
Jackson proved this on Monday by making an appearance on ESPN Radio’s TrueHoop podcast. During his hour-long interview with Amin Elhassan, Brian Windhorst, and Big Wos, Jackson went into full storytelling mode and talked about a number of different people that he has encountered over the last 15 years. From Stephon Marbury and Fat Joe to 2 Chainz and Tim Duncan, Jackson shared a bunch of really great stories with the world. You can go here to listen to the full podcast, but we’ve also transcribed some of the best stories Jackson told below. Scroll down to read them for yourself.
On Tony Parker scheming against him when he played for the Spurs:
The whole time, when I was there [in San Antonio], when I had good games and when I was playing well, I felt like Tony was the guy to really go against me and go behind my back to [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] to play [Manu] Ginobili and play other guys because he wanted the credit. I’m going to give you the perfect example.
We was up 2-0 against the Thunder [during the Western Conference Finals in 2012]. They came back and won three games straight. But Game 6 in OKC, I was having a hell of a game. I had six threes. I think me and Kawhi [Leonard] was playing well. At the end of the game, when my six threes and other guys’ shots got us back in the game, Tony came in the game and tried to save the day and stopped playing team ball and we ended up losing that series. I kind of felt like, while he was on the sideline, he was over there saying sneaky stuff to players and the coaches about getting back into the game so that he could get his own personal achievements in the game. And that’s why we lost.
Pop wouldn’t say that, but I remember right after the game, I was sitting down—me, Kawhi, and Tim [Duncan] was sitting down after we lost—he came over and said, 'I should have rode you guys. You guys did everything you could.' That was his way of saying, 'I shouldn’t have put Tony’s ass in the game.'
On Stephon Marbury buying him $10,000 worth of clothes and giving him an Escalade when he was a rookie with the Nets:
My rookie year, Byron Scott didn’t really want to sign me. In New Jersey, the New Jersey Nets. I got there, and Byron Scott didn’t really like me, but they let me come to camp and I was having a great camp. Stephon Marbury embraced me. I’m from Texas, so we used to wear our pants starched down like a cowboy. So when I got to New York, to New Jersey, everybody was laughing at me like, 'Look at his pants! His pants could stand up by themselves!' They was killing me, right?
Steph took the liberty to take me shopping, spent almost $10,000 on Timbs and clothes for me, and took me under his wing. And not only that—this was my rookie year, so I really didn’t have any money, I really didn’t have anything—he even gave me, the Escalade he had, he even gave me his Escalade. After practice, I was asking him to bring me—you know, he was normally dropping me back to my house—and what happened was he had somebody come pick him up and just threw me the keys like, 'Keep the truck, keep the truck.' And I kept it the whole season. Matter of fact, I kept it until I couldn’t drive it no more.
On Fat Joe assigning three guys to look after him at all times during his rookie season in New Jersey:
I was in New Jersey and playing for New Jersey my rookie year and Fat Joe and Steph was real cool. So it was one night in the club where a whole bunch of stuff went down and I was right in the middle of it, but I thought it was one big family. Well, after that one situation, I responded in a way that a professional athlete wouldn’t respond and Joe fell in love with me. He fell in love with me for not being a chicken and not being scared and standing in the middle of it and holding my ground.
So the whole season, while I’m in New Jersey, I’m going to New York shopping, I’m going to the clubs, I’m going to the malls, stuff like that, and I’m seeing these same three Puerto Rican guys. And I’m like, 'Are they following me?' I’m getting suspect. I’m telling my best friend, 'Man, I don’t know if they’re following us or not.' Coming towards the end of the season, we didn’t make the playoffs so it was coming to the end of the season, so I decide to go out and I see these same three guys and they all got Terror Squad chains on, the last time I seen them. I’m asking them, 'Man, what’s going on? I been seeing you guys all the time.' Joe had these three guys following me to make sure I was straight the whole season. I’m talking, if I was coming out of church, they was at the end of the corner. That’s when I realized it’s only one real mafia boss in the rap game and that’s Fat Joe.
On 2 Chainz sleeping on his couch before he got his big break—and then not repaying the favor later:
I live in Atlanta. Before 2 Chainz got big, he used to sleep on my couch. He used to hustle out my house, okay? He used to sleep on my couch and hustle out my house here! When we used to go out to clubs, it was me throwing the money to his songs. It was me buying the bottles and stuff like that. Don’t you know that when I asked him for a song, he told me that he couldn’t get to it for a year?
But let me say this: All the lingo and swag that was coming from Disturbing tha Peace was 2 Chainz. So he was destined for greatness. But our relationship changed when he told me I had to wait a year for a song. Our relationship ain’t been the same.
On former Warriors coach Don Nelson joking with him about smoking weed after taking a drug test:
We was in Utah. I think it was like the third or fourth game of the series [during the 2007 NBA Playoffs]. It was random drug tests at the time. So we got our last drug test, and when [Coach Nelson] found out that me and Baron [Davis] got our last drug test, we were coming out with our papers and he high-fiving us like, 'Yeah! We all can smoke now!' Don Nelson is one of a kind, man.
On Tim Duncan covering for him after he sustained a painful paintball injury:
There's one thing that people will never know about Tim Duncan: Tim Duncan might know more UFC moves and more fighting moves than anybody in the UFC. Tim Duncan knows more about guns than anybody that has been to Iraq. Tim Duncan is probably first-team all-paintball.
This when I knew Tim Duncan had my back: We were about to start camp one year and we wanted to do something, but [Gregg Popovich] vividly told us, 'Look, I don’t want you to do no type of sports. Y’all go to the movies, y’all go bowling or something, but no paintball.' Because he knew me and Tim loved paintball. So we decide to go play paintball, and I’m first pick. I’m first pick in paintball. The main reason I’m first pick because I done been shot at before. I ain’t worried about no paintball. I ain’t scared of none of that. So by Tim knowing that, 'I got to have Jack on my team.' But before training camp, we was not supposed to be there.
So we’re wearing the masks and I’m out there just ghetto with Chuck Taylors and Dickies like I’m going to go do a drive-by or something. Everybody there has cleats and they have the masks and all that stuff. I’m out there with a wifebeater on, me and Tim. So everybody that’s been playing for awhile, all their gear was upgraded. They had the masks that didn’t fog up when you breathe and when you sweat. I didn’t know that. So I got the regular mask on. So as soon as the game starts—we playing grab the flag with both teams on each side and the first team to get somebody to grab the flag—so as soon as the game starts, Tim looks at me and says, 'Jack, go!' Because he knows I’m not scared to get shot. So I’m running, I’m dodging bullets, sliding, diving over stuff. I get to the top, I’m going up the steps to get the flag, and I see the flag, but my mask fogs up. So they see me close to it, and they ring out shots. I’m talking 300 paintballs coming at me. So I ducked, and as I ducked, I can’t really see so I slipped, and as I slipped, my mask raises up and I hit my mouth on the steps. Boom! Bust my lip and my lip swells up instantly, right? My crazy butt still grabs the flag. I grab the flag, and as I’m running down, I’m telling them, 'Hold up, I’m shot,' and they still shoot me.
My lip is swelled and I got to go to the hospital to get stitches. So Tim is like, 'Man, how are we…Coach is going to be so mad.' So we made up some type of lie that I fell at home wrestling with my homeboys or whatever and Tim admitted to being at my house watching us wrestling, but he would not say that we played paintball. We ended up telling the truth at the end of the season because we ended up winning the championship. But yeah, Tim loves playing paintball and we got a team called the Wolfpack that we always used to call each other. Tim’s 7-foot, but nobody hides better than Tim in paintball. For some type of reason, those little things that you hide behind, you can’t even see him. He’s a pro at it.
See? So. Many. Stories. Go here to hear even more from Jackson.