Stephen Jackson rips ex-Spurs teammate Tony Parker over Kawhi comments
Ex-San Antonio Spur Stephen Jackson is coming to Kawhi Leonard’s defense.
Appearing Monday on FOX Sports 1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” the retired player-turned-analyst ripped former Spurs teammate Tony Parker for his recent comments critical of Kawhi Leonard’s mysterious quad injury.
“For Tony to come out and make the statement about his hamstring or quad was 100 times worse than Kawhi’s is so low,” said Jackson. “And the timing of it is even worse. You talk about this meeting, y’all want him on the team, is he gonna be with us or not, and now all of a sudden this last week, you and [Manu] Ginobili both come out and talk about it at the same time. I played on this organization. They came at me sideways before when Pop [head coach Gregg Popovich] asked me to say other people was better than me, so I know.
“I know how selfish Tony is because he’s the reason why we lost in ’12 against OKC,” Jackson continued. “Because he didn’t wanna pass the ball in Game 6 after I hit six threes in a row. So I know the type of person Tony is. He can be selfish, and by this comment, I won’t be surprised if this makes Kawhi wanna leave. Because when your teammates go against you in the media, not having your back, you know that’s coming from up top, why would you wanna be there … By the fact that came from Tony like that, that’s super low. I lost a lot of respect for Tony because they always say, ‘Well this is a class act, this is a class organization.’ That was low coming from one of your teammates.”
Jackson, 39, played for the Spurs for two seasons from 2001 to 2003, winning the ’03 title with them. He then returned for two more seasons from 2011 to 2013 (with the OKC game he hinted at actually occurring in the 2012 playoffs).
As for Leonard, his quad injury has been an increasing source of tension with his teammates, as he has reportedly been medically cleared but is opting to remain out. Parker’s comments indeed did not sound at all sympathetic, and they came just days after the Spurs supposedly held a players-only meeting where they implored Leonard to return. Regardless, Jackson knows the San Antonio way as well as anybody, so there probably are in fact two legitimate sides to the story here.