Ex-Spur Stephen Jackson: ‘Double Agent’ Tony Parker Cost Us OKC Playoff Series in 2012

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty)

Former NBA wing Stephen Jackson spent 14 seasons in the league, playing for eight different teams, including two stints with the San Antonio Spurs.

One way to make sure one bounces around the association that much: have a big mouth that says things that are patently untrue.

Something the man who hasn't played since 2013-14 has proven time and time again to possess. This by doing stuff like claiming a comeback with the Golden State Warriors, only to have the notion prompty revealed to be false by the team.

He also "guaranteed" his 2006-07 Warriors, who went 42-40, would have beaten the 2015-16 iteration, who was 51-5 at the time.

Which is all to warn you to take what he recently told the TrueHoop podcast, that longtime Spurs point guard Tony Parker is a "double agent" who cost the team the 2012 Western Conference Finals, with two to three boxes of Morton Salt.

You know what? I have. To be honest with you I really think Tony Parker was one of those guys. I just feel like the whole time when I was there, when I had good games, when I was playing well, I felt like Tony was the guy to really go against me, to go behind my back to [Gregg Popovich] to play [Manu] Ginobili, to play other guys because he wanted the credit.

I'm going to give you a perfect example. We was up 2-0 against the Thunder, my last year with the Spurs in (2012). They came back and won three games straight. But game six in OKC, I was having a hell of a game. I had six threes. Me and Kawhi [Leonard] was playing well. At the end of the game, when my six threes and other guys shots got us back in the game, Tony came in the game and tried to save the day and stopped playing team ball. We ended up losing that series. I kind of felt like that while he was on the sidelines, he was over there saying sneaky stuff to players and the coaches about getting back in the game so he can try to get his own personal achievements in the game and that's why we lost. Pop wouldn't say that. But I remember right after the game, me, Kawhi and Tim [Duncan] was sitting down after we lost, he came over there and said 'I should have rode you guys, You all did everything you could.' That's his way of saying I should not have put Tony in the game.

So there's that. Then there's this: Parker had 12 assists and just one turnover in the series-losing contest, scoring 29 points. After averaging 9.6 points through the first five games, Jackson went off for 23 points, going 6-of-7 from the field, all from three. Parker assisted half his makes.

More evidence against Jackson's account: The Spurs saw it fit to cut Jackson the following year in advance of the playoffs, and advanced to the championship even though Jackson had been, as (probably only) he put it, "dominating in practice."

Parker led the team with 20.6 points and seven assists in the 2013 playoffs. He led the team in both categories again the following postseason, when the Spurs avenged their loss to the Miami Heat and won the championship in five games.

 

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