OAKLAND — Stephen Jackson won an NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs, but the Golden State Warriors remain the team closest to his heart. The now retired small forward was in attendance for Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena, which will be at the most the third-to-last ever game played at the historic Oakland venue.
A member of eight teams during his 14-year career, Jackson explained why the Warriors organization stands above the rest.
“I had to be here,” Jackson told KNBR’s Bonnie-Jill Laflin. “Knowing that it’s the last games here, possibly, it’s an emotional feeling for me, because no team believed in me more than the Warriors, no organization believed in me more than the Warriors. I love coming back. I won a championship with the Spurs, but this is the only organization that made me feel like family, made me feel a part of the family and so does the city. I had my own day here, so I feel like I had to be here with Oracle going out and I just hope we can go out with a championship.”
Jackson is liking what he’s seen from the Warriors despite all injuries heading into Game 3.
“It’s great, it’s the first time I’ve seen these guys deal with a lot of adversity, guys being hurt, different situations. It’s good for the game, but what I love about it is, even though they’re going through a lot, they’re going through it with flying colors.
“Guys are being professional, they’re holding each other accountable for everything and they’re having each others’ backs. And that’s what we did when we were teammates here, we had each others’ backs, and it’s good to see these guys continue that on and also win championships.”
If the Warriors prevail, Jackson also thinks it’s time Steph won his first Finals MVP.
“I’m going with Steph. Steph has been solid, he got them out of the Western Conference Finals, and he’s been leading this team all year, and I think he deserves it.”
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