Former NBA player Stephen Jackson made headlines earlier this week with a passionate speech following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Jackson said he was close friends with Floyd and even called each other “twin.” “The first thing we both say: ‘Man, who’s your dad?'” Jackson told Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated on Monday.
“And just from that, from looking alike and from that day forward, we just had a bond. We became tight.” The former NBA player’s speech went viral, with current players like LeBron James sharing his message on social media.
After LeBron shared the video of Jackson’s speech, the two exchanged text messages. Here’s what Jackson had to say about his conversation with LeBron and why that makes him the greatest athlete ever, via Bleacher Report:
“[James] posted me speaking, and I text him back, I say, ‘I appreciate you, bro. I won’t let you down.’ He text me back, ‘You haven’t, and I won’t either.’ That was deep. I always tell people, [Michael] Jordan might be the best basketball player, but LeBron is the greatest athlete ever. It’s bigger than basketball with me why I love LeBron.”
Both LeBron and Jackson have been active on social media following Floyd’s death. Jackson made it clear Floyd’s death changed him.
“I’m telling you: I came [to Minneapolis] as a different person,” Jackson said. “I’m going to be here. I’m in for the long haul. … I didn’t ask for this role. I embraced it, and people are looking to be to led. So I got to do it.”
Protests have continued around the country in the wake of Floyd’s death.