Former NBA player Stephen Jackson is not one to hold back from controversy. He made a living out of getting into the heads of opposing players on the court. He’s also been an outspoken individual since moving on from the Association.
Now, while in the midst of a potential comeback attempt, Jackson decided to take to the public in order to call out former teammate Tony Parker.
And to say it wasn’t subtle would be an understatement. When discussing selfish players on a recent ESPN TrueHoop podcast, Jackson had the following to say:
“You know what? I have. To be honest with you,” Jackson said (h/t News 4 in San Antonio). “I really think Tony Parker was one of those guys. I just feel like the whole time when I was there, when I had good games, when I was playing well, I felt like Tony was the guy to really go against me, to go behind my back to Pop to play (Manu) Ginobili, to play other guys because he wanted the credit.”
That’s some downright harsh criticism to throw in the direction of one of the most-respected players in modern NBA history.
Jackson and Parker played together with the San Antonio Spurs for parts of two seasons from 2011-13, earning a conference championship in the process.
“I’m going to give you a perfect example. We was up 2-0 against the Thunder, my last year with the Spurs in (2012). They came back and won three games straight. But game six in OKC, I was having a hell of a game. I had six threes,” Jackson continued. “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. We ended up losing that series. I kind of felt like that while he was on the sidelines, he was over there saying sneaky stuff to players and the coaches about getting back in the game so he can try to get his own personal achievements in the game and that’s why we lost.”
For clarity sake, that wasn’t Jackson’s final season with the Spurs. He would go on to help the team to a conference title the following year, ultimately losing to the LeBron Jamed-led Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
It’s still rather interesting that a former Parker teammate would go out of his way to call out the NBA champion. This isn’t something we’ve heard from others around the Association in the past.
What we do know here is that Jackson likely won’t be joining the Spurs should his comeback attempt come to fruition.
Burning bridges there probably wasn’t the best of ideas as Jackson looks to make a return to the hardwood for the first time since 2013-14.