Stephen Jackson Interview
The Indiana Pacers are looking to trade Ron Artest since he requested they do so. Until a deal happens, Artest is on the inactive list and not traveling with the team. Here's what Stephen Jackson said to InsideHoops.com before a Pacers game in New York. Note that a lot of the questions were asked by our main man Pascal Giberne, from France.
InsideHoops.com: What song is that (being played out of an IPod in the locker room)?
Stephen Jackson: Lil Wayne. New album.
InsideHoops.com: His album is hot.
Stephen Jackson: That's one of the hottest cds out right now, yeah.
InsideHoops.com: Whose ipod is that?
Stephen Jackson: That's Fred's ipod. Fred Jones. We all have the cd but Fred was the first to put it on his ipod so we got to use it in the locker room.
InsideHoops.com: Is he the official DJ of the team or what?
Stephen Jackson: Fred is, basically, because he comes on the first bus so he always gets to put the music on. We come on the second bus, so when we come the music is already on. So basically he is the DJ.
InsideHoops.com: Without Ron Artest, how different do you guys have to play?
Stephen Jackson: We're a lot different, because we're missing an all-star, but at the same time we just go to have more confidence in everybody on the team. And we got to play better team defense. And just move the ball so we can get better shots. It's hard without Ron but we have to do it. We got guys that can play. Guys got a chance to have that experience to play without me, Ron and Jermaine last year when we were suspended. This situation, the guys are used to. They've been doing a good job.
InsideHoops.com: The fact that Ron wasn't around last year, you know you can have some success.
Stephen Jackson: They're comfortable with it. They're used to it. They had a chance to experience that last year when we all were suspended, so I think now that they got to play without Ron, I think they're comfortable with it, because they've done it before and they know what they have to do. Everybody knows they have to step their game up.
InsideHoops.com: Do you think the team will run more, now?
Stephen Jackson: Not actually more running, but we're moving a little faster because we're moving the ball a lot more. We've been playing off Jermaine, and everybody's getting able to touch the ball. I think we have more confidence in each other. That's what we have to do.
InsideHoops.com: And you're playing a different position now.
Stephen Jackson: My role has stepped up a little bit, but at the same time I still have to do what I've been doing, and that's play hard. Ron's not here so I got to try to be more aggressive on offense. But I just think as a team we all have to step up and try to be more aggressive on both ends of the court.
InsideHoops.com: Do you think other teams are looking down on the Pacers a bit, thinking they can do better against you now?
Stephen Jackson: I think a lot of teams look at us like they have a better chance of winning without Ron. But at the same time we have a great group of guys... we still have the same confidence we had in each other as we would when Ron was here. We still think we can go in arenas and win at home and on the road. So I just think we have to show the world and come out and do that.
InsideHoops.com: Your rookie, Danny Granger, he's got talent on both ends of the court. Can you compare him to Ron at all?
Stephen Jackson: No, because Ron's an all-star. Danny's a great player, he has a lot to learn. But Ron's definitely one of a kind. And there's not too many guys who can do what he does on both ends of the court. But Danny's definitely talented and can definitely help this team. He's a big part of this team. We just hope he can grow into his game and get a feel for where he can get his shots and kind of get a feel for this NBA game... we definitely need him right now.
InsideHoops.com: What's Granger like as a player?
Stephen Jackson: He's an energy guy. He's very athletic. He can score. He's one of those guys that plays with a lot of energy. I think his energy gets us going a lot because he gets a lot of loose balls, a lot of rebounds, and gets us extra shots on offense.
InsideHoops.com: So what are the updated expectations for the team?
Stephen Jackson: We still feel we can win the NBA championship. We still feel that we're one of those teams that's too be reckoned with in the East. We know we're going to be there at the end.
Check back later on Sunday for another Jackson interview, this time entirely about the Artest stuff. You'll enjoy it.
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