Jackson speaks on motivation, becoming a league veteran

Stephen JacksonEver since his first stint with the San Antonio Spurs, love him or hate him, you knew you were always getting Stephen Jackson unfiltered.

As a young Spur, Jackson was brash and cocky enough to talk trash with Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone, and while he may no longer be considered young by league standards, the 34-year old Jackson is still the man he became growing up in Port Arthur and in the NBA.

He recently had an interview with SLAM Magazine, talking about everything from what motivates him, giving back and his fledgling rap career.

As a veteran, Jackson said younger players coming into the game motivate him to be on his own game, and he tries to serve as a mentor to young teammates, just as former Spurs players took him under their wing.

Every time more young guys come into the League, I got to stay on my game because they’re coming for our spots. I’m always the guy that’s known for putting the young guys in they place (laughs). And these young these days, their talent is unbelievable. So I not only have to be ready to compete, but if I have young guys on my team, I have to be ready to be a mentor to them and show them the ropes just like Steve Smith and guys like that showed me. It’s a cycle: guys raised me in the League, and now it’s come to a point where guys are calling me ‘Uncle Jack’ now.

While Jackson has had success in the NBA after being a second round draft pick, he's also had his low points. But even after 12 years of ups and downs, Jackson considers himself lucky.

 I couldn’t of told you I was gonna live to see 25. So to be able to say I’ve been in the NBA for 12 years now, to be able to have a lovely wife, six beautiful kids and it’s looking like a beautiful career in music, it’s been a blessing. I think I’ve been blessed because I’ve always been humble. What you see is what you get from me. I’m not trying to be something I’m not, and I’ve always given everyone the same respect they gave me. I think the game’s taken care of me because I’ve always played every game like it’s my last.

Jackson also talked about bouncing back from some of those low points and how he tries to give back, especially off camera to the people that have supported him his entire career.

While some players may call him "Uncle Jack" and he's also been called "Captain Jack," he's also becoming known under the alias Stak5. Just before the season starts, Jackson will be releasing the album "Jack of all Trades."

But don't call Jackson an athlete rapper or another athlete making a foray into the music business as a hobby. While he may get some criticism for his album or his choice to focus on music, it won't be anything new to Jackson.

Love him or hate him, Jack will be Jack. But it's safe to say that as long as he's got the Spurs #3 across his chest, there's no shortage of love for Jackson in San Antonio.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.

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