S1 E26 | Stephen Jackson
DJ Scream and Big Bank share nothing but “Big Facts” in their podcast, as they chop it up with today’s popular figures in the entertainment industry.
Big Bank and DJ Scream returned with another blazing episode of the “Big Facts” podcast with former NBA player Stephen Jackson. In May 2020, the Texas native found himself in the spotlight following the death of his friend George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer killed Floyd when he pressed his knee into his neck for approximately nine minutes and 29 seconds.
Jackson made a career in basketball playing 14 seasons for several different teams, including the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers, before pivoting into activism. However, Jackson detailed a run-in with police two months before he got drafted that nearly ended his career before it even got started.
While visiting his old neighborhood, the former athlete said he got a call from a friend who needed paraphernalia removed from his home as the authorities were at his residence searching for it.
“Port Arthur, [Texas] is a small city, so I know the cops. They used to drive us to our basketball games and escort us and stuff. So, when he told me to do it, I didn’t think twice because you have somebody that you know, that you always taking care of, like some youngsters that you just take care of your whole life and I was him. He was the dope boy in the city, [and] he always looked out for me, and that’s why I didn’t have to be too involved and stuff he was doing—I just drove,” he explained.
Jackson said back then he would drive and make deliveries for money and could make $5,000 in a day. The former player added later that when he got to the house, he told the cops he came over to check on a young child who lived there and played on his basketball team. The officers let him in, and Jackson said he was able to locate the item and walk, but was then stopped before he could leave.
“Right under the couch was nine hard; grabbed it, put it my drawers, and walked out the door,” he continued. “Soon I grab the car door. Here they come outside, ‘Jackson!’ Alright, instantly, it’s over. Broke down in full sweat, damn near shitted on myself. I’m shaking, can’t even turn around.” Luckily for Jackson, the cops only wanted him to give a card to his friend, whose house they were raiding, and have him contact the authorities.
Jackson admits that despite the $10,000 payout from his friend, it wasn’t a wise decision to make, especially with the NBA draft around the corner. However, it was also another reason why he says reverting to his Muslim faith was an easy decision to make.
Next, the group reflected on the year 2020 — an unprecedented one, to say the least. Jackson detailed how he heard about Floyd’s heart-wrenching death from his mother-in-law, a fellow Minneapolis resident, and the series of events that transpired in the aftermath. “Me and her talk about police brutality all the time. She sends me articles and stuff, we talk all the time, and when she sent it to me, I was like, ‘Damn, they done killed another brother.’ Not even knowing it was Georgie. As I scroll through my messages, my homeboy Mike D, said, ‘You see what they did to your twin,’ then it clicked,” he explained. Jackson said he instantly lost it. He had never lost a loved one in that matter, but ultimately, he figured something had to be done. After sharing a clip of himself speaking on the tragic news on Instagram, Jackson reached out to his then publicist to set up a conference. Actor Jamie Foxx later reached out stating that he wanted to join him in Minneapolis.
“When I went down there, like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was letting my heart lead me. Me speaking, being honest with saying how I feel, not biting my tongue — they never heard that from somebody that had some type of fame. They never seen somebody with one of the biggest podcasts in the world, an NBA champion, that’s dealing with the same thing that’s been going on forever,” Jackson said. “So, I inherited to be the face of it [Floyd’s case]. I was just showing my real feelings, man, and it opened up to 18 countries, all states protesting at the same time, which has never been done, and I’m glad I did it.” In April 2021, Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges he faced: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter. The former police officer faces up to 40 years in prison.
However, Jackson — rightfully so — doesn’t feel that justice was served. “We got change, but the world still hasn’t changed,” he said. “We got justice for the first time. The motherfucker going to jail… I can’t go put my hands on him. That’s really the only justice we know — get our lick back. If I can’t get my lick back, then you gotta go to jail.”
Jackson later addressed his feud with former ballplayer Kwame Brown, calling the ordeal a misunderstanding of a joke. “He wasn’t the first person I said wasn’t good. He took it the wrong way because they’ve been bashing him for 20 years,” he explained. “I could give a fuck about how somebody feel, but the only reason I apologized because I played with bro; he was my teammate at one time. And what I’m doing today, I don’t want to be a part of bashing another brother for 20 years. I gain nothing from that. I’m rich as fuck. I’m good.”
As always, be sure to stay tuned every week for new episodes of “Big Facts.” Also, don’t forget to watch the latest show above!