Stephen Jackson Says He Liked Hitting Fans in 'Highly Questionable' Interview
Including some cold hard truth regarding his enjoyment over hitting a fan.
Jackson had just recounted a strip club incident that took place in Indianapolis back in 2006, and then revealed who would be on his gritty "dark alley" team.
The interview took the obvious turn to the infamous "Malice at the Palace" debacle that saw him and teammate (formerly known as) Ron Artest go into the stands to fight fans.
Bomani Jones asks Jackson why Artest—the Lakers star who has since changed his name to Metta World Peace—owes him thanks for his involvement during the fracas with fans.
Jackson begins by telling a rather humorous story that fits perfectly with the idea of Metta World Peace being in a world all of his own.
As the players sat in the locker room after what can only be described as pure bedlam taking place at The Palace of Auburn Hills, World Peace asked if they would get into any trouble.
Jackson joked that they would be lucky just to have their jobs.
Then comes what might be the most controversial statement from an extremely candid interview, and one that had host Dan Le Batard laughing.
The host wants Jackson to admit he enjoyed hitting fans, which led to Jackson replying, "All the racial slurs I done heard. All the things I heard about my mom, and my basketball game and my kids, all this. It felt good to punch a fan one time."
The reaction from the hosts says it all.
And of course, Twitter responded to the entire exchange in kind:
More Stephen Jackson interviews, please: http://t.co/xN26khp743— Eric Freeman (@freemaneric) June 12, 2013
That Stephen Jackson interview on espn is wild— Jarrel (@_JarrelHarris) June 12, 2013
Of course, Jackson says he regrets his actions and still claims he went into the stands to pull World Peace off the fan who he thought had thrown a drink at him, only to see another drink tossed in his teammate's direction. The former Spur believed that this act deserved retribution.
Athletes have to deal with all kinds of taunting, from vitriol as benign as boos to unforgivable venom such as racially charged harassment.
That particular brawl saw nine players suspended for more than 140 games. Nearly a decade later, the sights and sounds are still etched in our collective memory.
This isn't to say we or the players involved haven't moved on. World Peace oftentimes assumes the role of a class clown of sorts for the Lakers and a champion of mental health awareness.
Jackson, for his part, just gave one of the most memorable interviews in some time.
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