SAN ANTONIO – Former NBA and San Antonio Spurs forward Stephen Jackson is never one to shy away from the microphone.
He’s making headlines again with his recent comments on Bill Simmons’s podcast about the Spurs and Tim Duncan.
Simmons was discussing the Spurs legend compared to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, and asked Jackson who he would rather build a team around if he had to choose.
“Me personally, I would go with Kobe. I wouldn't go with Tim Duncan," Jackson said. "I want someone with Kobe’s attitude and his approach to the game to lead my team. Tim wasn't really too outspoken and Pop had to do a lot of that. I had to do a lot of that when I was there. I had to be the protector and the guy to get in guys' faces."
Jackson was a member of the Spurs’ 2003 championship team and returned to the team in 2012. He was released before the 2013 playoffs started.
Jackson said Gregg Popovich told him that part of the reason he traded for Jackson in 2012 was because the team needed “some nasty" and a tougher mental attitude.
Jackson said Popovich was a major part of Duncan’s success whereas Bryant did not have the same coaching consistency.
“With Kobe Bryant, he’s going to give you everything that you need in one body to lead a team to the championship,” Jackson said. “Pop had to put certain different personalities and different aspects around Tim Duncan for that organization to be what it is.”
"Tim was in the right situation. I think you could put Kobe Bryant in any situation and he’s going to bring guys along, give them the attitudes and more accomplishments. Which Tim did too, but me personally, I would go with Kobe Bryant,” said Jackson.
Jackson has been outspoken about the Spurs organization since he retired in 2014.
He has said publicly that he has several basketball-related issues with Tony Parker, calling the former Spurs point guard “selfish” in the past.
He also claimed Popovich told Parker and Manu Ginobili to confront Kawhi Leonard about returning to the team during Leonard’s disastrous last season with San Antonio.