San Antonio Spurs: Jaren Jackson looks back at 1999 NBA Finals
By Rob Wolkenbrod
The first San Antonio Spurs championship resulted from the 1999 NBA Finals, which Jaren Jackson played a part on. 19 years later, he wants to show his son what it means to win it all.
In 1999, the San Antonio Spurs captured their first of five (and potentially counting) championships, with a series win over the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. A Tim Duncan and David Robinson-led team pushed them to a title, as well as the squad’s defensive ability.
Jaren Jackson was part of that Spurs team, which became the lone championship of his 13-year career. He played in the Alamo City from 1997-01.
For modern-day NBA fans, if the Jaren Jackson name sounds familiar, it’s because his son, Jaren Jackson Jr., just went to the Memphis Grizzlies as the No. 4 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. Jackson Jr. spent one year at Michigan State.
To show his son what it means to be a champion, in an interview with Yahoo Sports (h/t Hoops Habit), Jackson Sr. showed video of the 1999 NBA Finals, to use it as motivation for a potential chase at a title:
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“I share a little bit. My stuff is on VHS, DVD. His stuff is not on none of that. It’s on his phone. Is he going to put in a tape or DVD of my old stuff? No. That’s what makes it kind of funny. He’s seen little pieces of what I did in the past. He appreciates the Spurs’ time, the championship that I was a part of. As long as he’s seen that stretch, that’s great. He can take that as a motivation for him, to maybe one day get one for himself.”
“He’s carving his own path, you know, although he’s following me a little bit. But throughout his growth, I’ve encouraged him to embrace the game, love it for what it’s worth. When you watch him, you see that he’s enjoying it, that it’s not such a grind. Don’t get me wrong. I worked hard in my career. Sometimes, it felt like flat-out work. It’s work here, too. But he’s out there having a lot of fun, smiling all over the place and being all jolly about playing.”
It can’t hurt to have advice from your championship-winning father who played for one of the NBA’s most successful franchises of the past two decades. That’s something for Jackson Jr. to take in stride as he acclimates to professional basketball and as a member of the Grizzlies.
Jackson Jr. projects to play in Memphis’ frontcourt next to Marc Gasol. It’s a potentially potent duo for the team to work around, and players the Spurs must deal with in the 2018-19 season. Given expectations for other NBA teams, it’s unlikely the Michigan State product finds his way into the NBA Finals soon, as long as the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James are around, but it’s something for him to look forward to.