Stephen Jackson has been around the league for 11 years now. He’s won a ring with San Antonio, served a hefty suspension with Indiana, and ruffled some feathers in Golden State. He’s earned a colorful reputation — both good and bad, depending on who you ask — around the league. Former Spurs’ teammate Tim Duncan has called him the “ultimate teammate.” Larry Bird has said he is the toughest player in the league and many of his current Bobcats teammates would surely agree.
In the aftermath of a game-clinching steal against the Toronto Raptors, Jackson was thrilled with the win and allowed me to ask him a few non-game-related questions about his fellow NBAers. While answers one and two didn’t shock me, I wasn’t expecting the response I got for number three. Celtics’ fans, rejoice.
HM: Who is the best teammate you’ve ever had?
SJ: (without hesitation) “Tim Duncan. Tim Duncan because he is the same person every day. He comes to work every day and he wants to win. He has the same passion for the game that I have.”
HM: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever played alongside of?
SJ: ” The toughest I’ve ever played with? Probably Gerald Wallace. He’s fierce. He plays 110 [percent] every night. He gets beat up, fouled, bruised and all of that but he still plays. That’s just one guy that I know that is so tough, besides Ron Artest.”
HM: Who is the toughest player for you to guard around the league? Who gives you the most trouble as a defender?
SJ: “I’m going to say Paul Pierce. He has the best footwork in the game. And, he can do a little bit of everything. He can post up, shoot it, come off the dribble. He’s always given me a problem. I’ve seemed to guard other guys well, LeBron James and all of those guys, but Paul Pierce for some reason gives me a lot of problems. He has some of the best footwork in the game.”