Stephen Jackson Admits He Fired A Gun At Someone While Still An NBA Player And Was Still Supported By The Indiana Pacers | So Why Bring Ja Off The Bench In Memphis Return?

Ja Morant is back and playing for the Memphis Grizzlies again. However in his return game on Wednesday, he did not start against the Houston Rockets. For former NBA bad boy Stephen Jackson, that was a sign of disrespect by the Grizzlies to their star athlete when players like him have done even worse and were still supported.

“Well, I’m going to tell you this, I actually shot a gun at somebody while I was in the NBA,” Jackson said on the “Paper Route” podcast to host Brandon Marshall. “I actually been in a fight in the stands and got suspended and lost 3 million dollars. I didn’t just show it; I actually shot it.”

Whoa, Stak, that inflammatory confession made host B Marshall smile cheesily at the scoop.

Unconditional Support?

“When I got in trouble, I was with the Indiana Pacers. Donnie Walsh (then-Indiana Pacers general manager), Larry Bird (then the president of basketball operations for the Pacers), that organization, yeah, we had conversations behind closed doors,” Jackson continued. “But publicly, when people asked him about, ‘why did I run behind Ron and help him in the stands’, Donnie Walsh straight up defended me and went to a situation when my older brother got killed, and I was a couple of blocks away. You’ve got to understand me to know why I’m so loyal.”

Jackson’s older brother Donald Buckner, Jr, died at the age of 25 years old after being beaten to death when Jackson was just 16. The former NBA player always felt guilty that he wasn’t there to help him. It enabled him to join Metta World Peace, then called Ron Artest, in the stands at the Palace at Auburn Hills in 2004 after he went after a fan who chucked a beer from the stands.

What’s Good Memphis?

“I think the organization, they put all their money in Ja,” Jackson continued. “They know what type of person he is; they invested all this money in him. So you know what you invested in before you gave him that money, so why would you jump on the bandwagon and feel like you shouldn’t start him when he’s still your franchise player? That just didn’t sit well to me because I’ve been in those shoes and I’ve actually went way farther than Ja did and I’ve seen an organization stand behnd me and i’m not even the kind of caliber player that Ja is.”

Jackson contends that the media scrutiny around Ja Morant’s many infractions led to his eight-game suspension. In the aftermath, the 23-year-old Morant deactivated his Instagram and Twitter accounts but recently reactivated them after the incident. However, he said he would be less active on social media than in the past. For Jackson, loyalty is loyalty to a franchise being there for its players. His time in Indiana allowed him to see the possibilities when one of its players was not at his finest.

Now Stak is pointing the finger at the Grizzlies for making Ja’s return one that came off the bench, although to a standing ovation from his supportive city of Memphis.

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