Stephen Jackson, Port Arthur, Texas, and Real Stories

“How much death have you seen, Stephen?”

I’m not sure how I feel about this interview.  In some ways, it encapsulates so much of what is wrong with our sports media landscape.  On the other hand, there are moments of important truth. Stephen Jackson has been a polarizing figure in the NBA for years.  He’s also been a great teammate on championship teams in San Antonio.

I appreciate Stephen Jackson’s candor, but there is also the fact that they way we talk about violence (especially connected to sports) is often overlooked, and tends to be sensationalistic, rather than genuine or humanizing.

At the 4:00 mark, Jackson describes the brawl in Indiana, in part to highlight how delusional Ron Artest is, and in part because it is an event that people will never stop talking about (though they don’t often discuss the amount of beer being imbibed or the amount of derogatory slurs that moronic fans are allowed to shout at sporting events) and he was on the inside.  Jermaine O’Neal, on the other hand, has refused to comment for years.

This interview gives the viewer a sense of Dan LeBatard’s lack of maturity (or his attempt to flatter Jackson with his laughter) as anything else. Watch LeBatard’s laughter after asking Jackson to admit how much he enjoyed punching the fan.  Watch Bomani Jones’ reaction while LeBatard can’t stop giggling. Compare that to LeBatard’s attempt at deeply rooted concern with the look on his face when things get serious at the 7:30 mark.  LeBatard: another excellent example of media idiocy.

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