On June 3rd, Stephen Jackson was on ESPN’s The Jump and was asked about getting under a player’s skin. Jackson, without blinking, started reminiscing about the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs where his #8 Golden State Warriors beat the #1 Dallas Mavericks.
Stephen Jackson: “We as players, we can smell the blood, we can see when you weak. And if you’re one of their best players and you can’t take that? Im’a light you up…For example, [Dirk Nowitzki] is one of the best ever, but Game 1 we knew we had him.”
Ramona Shelburne: “Really?”
Tracy McGrady: “What?”
Jackson: “We saw it in his eyes, I saw it in his eyes.”
McGrady: “You’re talking about a man that has 30,000 points.”
Jackson: “One thing about it, I never blocked a 7-footer’s shot against the backboard after he shot it. I did that to Dirk in the game, when I saw his face I knew we had him.”
Shelbourne: “Seriously? That was the game with the 8 vs the 1?”
Jackson: “And if you want your heart back Dirk and your game back, I can give it back to you ‘cause I still got it in my pocket.”
Jackson and The Big 3 made the trip to Dallas this weekend and when asked whether Dirk called him to get his game back he responded smugly, “Nah, other players might have given his game back but I still got it in my pocket. He ain’t call me though.”
Over a decade removed from that playoff matchup and Dirk Nowitzki is still playing in the NBA while Jackson is still trying to get back into the League. Several times when asked about anything Jackson claimed he was, “working to get back into the NBA…I’ve been working out, they’ll tell you, I didn't workout when I was in the NBA. I’m working out as hard as I ever have I’m in the best [shape] I’ve ever been in.”
One player working his way back into the League and another player working his way through the record books. You decide who owns who.