San Antonio Spurs swingman Stephen Jackson, who is out with a broken pinky, sat down with ESPN’s Chris Palmer for a Q&A about his rap career, playing for the Golden State Warriors in 2007 and the Palace brawl.
On Nov. 19, 2004 a fight broke out between Jackson’s Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills, Mich. The fight escalated to the point Jackson and teammate Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) fought with Pistons fans in the stands.
When I hit that fan, I definitely enjoyed it — until that fine came down. That $3 million I lost killed me. It brought me back to reality because I could have lost my job.
It was wild because it had never been done before. And it will never happen again so, yeah, adrenaline was flowing. How many people can say that they’ve punched a fan?
Do you know all the stuff that they say to us? The racist stuff they say to us? We get the N-word and people talking about our wives and family.
Just because we make a lot of money we’re supposed to be the bigger person? Fans tell us that our kids are ugly and that they should have thrown our mothers in jail for having us. That’s not disrespectful?
I’ve been in a lot of fights and done some things I shouldn’t have done, but I’ve never sold drugs or been locked up, so for people to think that way about me isn’t right.
They had life-size posters of me in Utah with me behind bars. Before the situation with Jamaal Tinsley, I had never been in jail, and I’m from the projects!
Do you regret the Palace brawl?
No. Because the idea of Ron laying in the stands unconscious with all his teeth knocked out … no way. That whole arena was against and I didn’t have it in my heart not to do anything.
What was it like in the locker room immediately after that?
The funniest thing in the world. Ron leans over to me and asks me if we’re going to get into trouble! I looked at him like he was crazy. We laughed so hard. Jamaal fell out of his locker.
I looked at Ron and asked him, “Do you realize what we just did? We’re lucky if we have a job tomorrow.”
We just went into the stands. We just banged out on fans. Are you serious? Trouble? I couldn’t believe he asked me that.
How did you get through all that?
When Donnie Walsh was in Indiana with me, he had my back. He knew my heart and knew what kind of person I was. I would have never went in the stands on my own. I would have never shot up a strip club on my own.
It was always to help somebody, so when people say that type of stuff, it definitely pisses me off.