Former San Antonio Spurs swingman Stephen Jackson made some questionable comments about the legendary Manu Ginobili earlier in the week.
Anyone who was afforded the opportunity to watch the Big Three era of San Antonio Spurs basketball can attest to the sheer willpower and competitive spirit of Manu Ginobili. With the ferocity of a lion and an ethereal mastery of the game, Ginobili carved up the league into his 40’s before retiring this past summer.
Spurs fans hold Ginobili near and dear to their hearts because of his unrelenting dedication to the franchise through the course of his career. Suitors often hoped to pry him from the Alamo City but the bond he held with head coach Gregg Popovich and his teammates enabled Ginobili to stay put with the Spurs for his entire career.
Though not nearly as important within his role, small forward Stephen Jackson spent four seasons as a Spur, proving himself to be a championship-caliber contributor alongside Ginobili. His rapport with the team has held firm past his playing days despite some controversial comments about Pop and the organization amidst the Kawhi Leonard drama. Jackson’s outspoken personality has earned him a large platform, especially since entering the realm of media in retirement.
Jackson has appeared on various television and radio shows as he’s built a second career for himself. Anyone who has witnessed Jackson as either a media personality or player knows that he’s not afraid to speak his mind and will always give his personal truth. That’s why his recent appearance on FS1’s “The Herd” sparked controversy around the basketball community.
Career TPA Scores (Playoffs and Regular Season)
Manu Ginobili: 3,097.66Stephen Jackson: 33.60
All-Time TPA Ranks
Manu Ginobili: 37thStephen Jackson: 595th https://t.co/KZpzBUeXkf
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) December 15, 2018
In an interview with esteemed personality Colin Cowherd, Jackson was asked to name Hall of Famers that he thinks he was better than in his playing days.
“I definitely think I was better than Ginobili, oh definitely. I went to a lot of teams, if I stayed in that system in San Antonio, people would’ve been talking different, but I went to a lot of different places and put up 20 points.”
This is… quite a take from the zero-time All-Star. Jackson is generally respected for his passion and larger than life presence, but disrespecting Manu Ginobili is where you have to draw a line.
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Because of his contributions to the organization’s second championship, fans must respect what Jackson has to say. He’s often well-informed and has spoken proudly of the Spurs culture within context but things change when a microphone is added to the mix.
There is no telling whether he believes that he’s a superior player in his heart of hearts but it’s just factually inaccurate based on Ginobili’s accolades and worldwide recognition in the sport. Even if his average numbers didn’t jump off of the stat sheet every night, Ginobili was the key that ignited the San Antonio’s four championships.
Over the course of his time in San Antonio, Jackson averaged 8.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest. He donned the silver and black for 179 games which is tied with Golden State for his most games played with a single team.
From a media standpoint, this was an expertly crafted publicity move by Jax. Clearly, his comments accumulate enough attention for us to write about him which is exactly what he wants. If people are talking about what he has to say, chances are other outlets will line up to enlist his services.
No, Jackson wasn’t nearly the player that Ginobili was at their respective primes, but both made valuable contributions to the Spurs franchise. For that reason, Jackson will get a pass for slandering arguably the most beloved player in franchise history.