Stephen Jackson: "We always hung together. Every time I went to Houston, it was my first stop, to stop and pick him up... What’s killing me the most about this whole thing is, being a professional athlete, so many people abuse your friendship and your kindness. And he was one of those guys that genuinely supported me. He didn’t call unless he really needed it. And you don’t have many people that genuinely support you without any motives. And Floyd was that guy." (Full Interview Above)
Listen to former NBA player Stephen Jackson join the Today show to discuss his friendship with the late George Floyd, whose death has become one of the biggest stories of the year.
Jackson called Floyd a ‘best friend’ and a ‘twin’ on the Today show, and said he met Floyd when they were both growing up in Houston. Jackson said he would always meet up with Floyd every time he played the Rockets on the road.
Floyd was killed in police custody over the weekend in Minneapolis in an ugly incident that has caused massive protests and riots around the country, as the officer responsible for Floyd’s death still hadn’t been arrested days after the reckless actions. Floyd was detained for attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a local grocery store, but died from asphyxiation in the process of being arrested, as the officer put his neck into the back of Floyd's neck for a full 9 minutes before Floyd expired.
The killing of Floyd has sparked a massive racial divide across the United States, as the riots have rivaled the fallout caused by the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles in 1991. Finally on Thursday, Derek Chauvin, now a former Minnesota Police Department officer, was charged for Floyd's death
Jackson himself was later seen on the frontlines of the Minneapolis demonstrations to protest the senseless killing.
Jackson played 14 seasons in the NBA on the Nets, Kings, Hawks, Pacers, Warriors, Bobcats, Spurs and Clippers. He averaged 15.1 points for his career, including making 1,252 three-pointers, and won an NBA championship in 2003 with San Antonio.