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April 11, 2023 13 mins

Jaren Jackson takes us inside his journey to the NBA. Jaren speaks about his time playing at Georgetown and then he shares what it was like playing overseas in France. Later, Jaren details how he landed in San Antonio and got acclimated with his teammates, he talks about the impact of Greg Popovich, and then he discusses the legacy of the Spurs.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:06):
Welcome to another addition to Sound of Spurs podcast on
Bill Schoning, long time radio voice of the Spurs. I
missed this guy by one year. When I left, he
came in, or when he left, I came in. I'm
not sure i'll work. Jared Jackson, a member of the
ninety nine championship team, former Georgetown Hoya, former Spur, father
of Jared Jackson Junior. But we're not going to talk
about that guy. He's not a Spur. This guy who

(00:27):
was very good to see you, Jerry oh Man. It's
so great to be back here in San Antonio hanging
out with you guys. I've been missing those gold Spurs
words for a long time, man, but he's still in
my heart. I love these Spurs and I wished him
the best as they moved forward. It's the fiftieth anniversary
of the Spurs organization, so they're bringing special guys like you.
They played on championship teams. We were an important part

(00:49):
of what happened here way back in the day in
the Alamodome. And I know you've got fond memories and
we'll get to those in just a minute. But what's
it gonna be like for you tonight to hear those
cheers from the crowd that remembers you so well back
in a lot of good memories and are looking forward
to hearing those those sounds spurs love that they've always given.
Even after all these years, it's been amazing. So I

(01:09):
remember how when I really used to shake my head
and do my things shooting my three point shots, you know,
and how crazy they were when I was doing that.
So it seems like it gets continuing to take place,
man here, So I can't wait to hear that noise. Yeah, well,
your basketball journey is one that did not have a
direct path to the NBA. You were all over the place,
my man. So let's talk for a moment just about

(01:29):
where it all started in the New Orleans I guess,
growing up shooting at the playground, right, And let's tell
us about your early life from basketball. I mean, so
I was. I was fortunate enough to be a pretty
a top player in high school coming out of uptown
New Orleans. So it was some fine memories. And then
I moved on to being recruited by Georgetown, as you mentioned,
playing for coach Thompson and the legendary teams out of

(01:51):
Georgetown playing with the likes of Alonzo Morning and Tim
and Matombo, guys like that. It prepared me for my
moment where one day I'm going to play with David
Robinson and Tim Duncan. So that's how I look at it.
So we had some good days in Georgetown. Then I
moved on and tried to establish my career in the pros.
My journey as well documented, and then finally I had

(02:12):
a pleasure and a blessing to join the San Antonio
Spurs as a free agent coming out, and it was
the best time of my life, all right. I looked
forward to taking advantage of the opportunity and I appreciated
what coach popa vigetive by bringing me in and allowing
me to jail with such wonderful, wonderful players at the time,
and it just there was the beginning of what is

(02:34):
now is the Spurs away. Man, I'm blessed before you
got here, though, I'm really interested about your journey because
I know you played over in France for a while,
right and lyon France. I've been there. It's beautiful there.
What was it like back then playing in Europe? You know,
that was that moment when you know, a lot of
young players that I even coached now in the G
League who are trying to find their niche in the NBA,

(02:56):
trying to get an opportunity to make it one day,
and so I had a moment where I had to go.
I decided to go overseas and give it a try.
And when I did, I decided to go to France
and I had a great time there. It was a
somewhat of a good fit, you know. It was the
opportunity to make some money, a little extra money at
the time. This is before coming to the Spurs. And

(03:16):
so now at that point I found out that maybe
Overseas wasn't me the team that I was with. Although
I had a great time, we kind of struggled and
so my time was limited over there. So I felt
like I better just get my butt back to the
States and play in the NBA and hopefully I can
get back to the right team, continuing to climb through
the at the time the CBA, which is now the

(03:38):
G League, and the opportunity came to join the Spurs.
So that's how I taste overseas and a lot of
players like that that aren't to come of guys who
are not fortunate enough to get drafted the top guys,
not like the Tim Duncans and the Jaren Jackson juniors.
So that's my path and I appreciate it, and I
shared it with my son by the way, that path,

(04:00):
you know, so I guess why he worked so hard
to be drafted and not have to do all this stuff.
I did so, but it was a great journey and
I'm just glad it ended up with the Spurs. Well,
you come to the Spurs and what a front court
right with David Robinson and Tim Duncan. How did you
find yourself acclimating You were on the back court, of course,
but how do you find yourself acclimating to the teammates
around you? When you first got in oh man, man,

(04:21):
I thought that was the first time playing with such dynamic,
big guys for me in the pros and getting an
opportunity to play. So my goal and my focus was
more on how can I best fit with those guys
to play with these guys, these these are not two
point guards. You're playing with two bigs who are Hall
of Fame bigs. At the time, you know, you got
the young Tim Duncan and you got David who already

(04:43):
established himself as a Hall of Famer so and he
hadn't won a championship at the time, so I knew
that that was his goal and the vision for the Spurs,
and I didn't want to come in and making any mistakes.
At the same time, Gel as a pro and I
found a way to mesh with these guys. Make sure,
I'll just give them the ball in the post and

(05:04):
make life easy for them. And if they did not
want to share the ball with me, it's okay. But
I'm out there just in case they get doubled in,
just in case I can get a good look. And
I had to make the shot, and when I did,
I shook my head man like oh man, like all
those shots I made. So it was good old days.

(05:25):
It was a blessing, and I appreciated the opportunity to
play with David and Tim. Yeah, and you also got
to play with Avery Johnson and everbody's got the Avery stories.
And of course he's a New Worlds guy too. I
was just gonna bring that up. So was there a
special bond between you and him? I know there's a
special bond between Avery and everybody because that's the way
he is. But in terms of you know, being from
the same area, all my all, my homeboys, man, we

(05:45):
always have that that bond. You know. I love playing
with Avery. He was a true leader, as you well
know of him. You know, he has been amazing throughout
his career. He had somewhat of a journey like I did,
so for so we kind of crossed paths when we
the Spurs together and it was just refreshing to see.
And I know he's a New Orleans guy, a Saint

(06:06):
Augustine guy. I'm a walltail Coin guy. So for those
of you all that know New Orleans, you know, you
know those two teams they need to clash more, you know,
in the future. But I have much respect to my
point guard a Ree was. It was a blessing and
play with him as well, and he was the right
fit for the type of guys we had on that team.

(06:28):
And I just tried to find my way to jail
with those guys and I think we did a magnificent
job and it led to that first championship. That was
a very unique season because you guys have only played
fifty regular season games. There was a lockout year and
you got off to a slow starters. I recall, right,
it was it was, it was slow in the beginning.
You know, we were trying to figure out, you know,
figure the team out and what best fit. You know,
I found a nice little role coming off the bench.

(06:50):
You know at the time, I think from what I remember,
I remember Sean Elliott having it was a little rocky
start in the beginning as far as him playing, you know,
and fitting in and uh and then you know, I
was trying to Coach pop was trying to fit me
in in the beginning, and I was playing very well.
But I think to the amazement of of coach Popovich,
he found a way to get the right chemistry and

(07:14):
the right rotation and found a way to get me
uh acclimated to to some playing time off the bench,
and it helped us. You know. So we thrived during
that year, the lockout year, he using that term because
you know, it was just a great season for us,
and uh, I think whoever would have won the championship,
we would embrace it. So it was our nineteen ninety

(07:36):
NBA World Championship year. You had some good, hard nosed
players in that team too, got guys, we've had on
the podcast in the last couple of weeks. As a
matter of fact, including Mario Elie and Malik Rose, what
did they bring to the club in toughness and toughness
that was kind of like the identity of the team. Yes,
we were inside our team, but we were a tough team. Defensively,

(07:57):
I think it had to take place. So all the
shot blocking we got in the back end, those guys
held us accountable on defense. So we had to play
out man and so we had to do that and
be tough at it. And you pick the right guys.
You know Murio who who was great and he has
a history with Houston. Then he coments here, it comes
here to San Antonio wins another championship. Amazing. He and

(08:18):
I go back ways. You know, he got somewhat the
same journey coming out of playing in the CBA, and
so I'm aware and aware of his journey as well
as Malik Roles at the time, young guy trying to
make it on the team. So and I have a
lot of levet for both of those guys. I see
Malik at a lot with the NBA G League. Now
we have a little small talks here and there talking

(08:40):
about old memories. But it was some good old days,
and I anticipate a few more conversations with those guys.
The fact that you had less than an easy journey,
does that make you appreciate where you got to eventually
even more? Absolutely, man such a journey. Sometimes you're not
as easy to get the opportunity to play in the

(09:01):
NBA after being drafted. I wasn't drafted. Many of my friends,
guys who are here now with me, they were not drafted.
These guys had dreams of playing in the NBA like
I did, and the opportunity to get it, you appreciate it.
I knew my history. I understand where I came from.
You highlighted New Orleans. I knew where I was coming from.
I was fearless. I understand the magnitude of where I

(09:24):
came from and how far I had to go coming
out of not getting drafted, coming going through all the
travels through the CBA and now the G League. Those
guys must shout out to the Austin Spurs and all
the guys, and so I understand that journey, and so
to finally get a chance to play with NBA star

(09:45):
players like Timmy and David Sean Elliott and all those guys. Man,
it was just an amazing opportunity and I'm so appreciative
of it to this day. So appreciation is the correct word, man.
I also got to play for a Hall of Coaching,
Greg Popovitch. Let me not come on, man, Coach pop
he is the reason there is why there's such a

(10:07):
thing as the Spurs Way. He resonates in the NBA,
in the game of basketball. So many people follow him,
follow his philosophy. He's taught so many different coaches that
are in the game. Now you see it throughout the NBA,
even in college. It resonates, and it resonates with me
as well as as as I continue to move on

(10:30):
in my own coaching aspirations as a pro coach and
my time coaching my son in high school, in my
time now coaching in the G League. So I'm looking
forward to more opportunities to continue that message as a
coach the Spurs Way, like Coach pop is continuing to do. Man.
So it's he has been an amazing ambassador to the

(10:50):
game and it's going to be highlighted even more once
he's done to coaching. But I don't see that I
think he's gonna be coaching unless you guys tell me something. Man,
Coach Pop, keep coaching, man, he surlaers are on the
right to call it and quits whatever he wants to.
San Antonio sports fans know, great teams are powered by
great talent. SWBC is looking for new talent to join

(11:10):
our team in a workplace where game changing ideas drive success.
We employ top professionals in IT, accounting, human resources, insurance,
and more. Great teams are powered by great talent, and
great employees are empowered at s WBC. Apply today at
SWBC dot com slash careers. That's SWBC dot com slash careers. Hey.

(11:43):
Usually I asked the final question, that is what is
the Spurs legacy? But I think you just answered that
and relationships are very important part of that, right absolutely, man.
I mean I think the Spurs are teaching other teams
how to be pros, how to manage team. I look
at more the Spurs is more than being a team.
They are they are program. It's kind of like a

(12:03):
college program, you know, and no disrespect to colleges, you know,
but coach Pop you as a culture here in San
Antonio with the Spurs, that culture I've so appreciated and
respected as a former player, and you see that throughout
the NBA. You see that throughout coaching, you see that
throughout playing. And that's why even this year, they'll have

(12:24):
much respect for these young players that are trying to
play Romeo and all the guys k debates, my man,
Jeremy Sohan, all these young players who are trying to
make it doing a tough year. They're playing the right way.
They're playing like the Spurs way, and they got a
bright future here with the Spurs, if not elsewhere in
the NBA. But it's definitely they're showing some good things

(12:46):
with the Spurs. I appreciate that when I watched the Spurs.
No matter what the result is, at the end of
the game, they're playing the right way. And that's because
of coach Pop has done establishing the Spurs way. That's
why I wear this ring with pride, and you should
thanks very much for those comments. It was great, you know,
because this has been a kind of a tough year
as far as wins and losses are concerned. But I'm
with you. I've enjoyed watching these guys play and they're

(13:08):
growing up right in front of us, and I think
the future is bride. Jaron, thank you very much for
the time. We appreciate that, and I'm hoping that you
enjoy the ovation that you're gonna get to. Oh man,
I'm looking forward to it. Man. To do this, Oh man,
I can cry, man. And to do this in front
of my son, Oh my gosh. Can y'all imagine this?
It's going to be an awesome evening and I'm just

(13:29):
glad I'm here with loved ones, friends and family. Man.
It's just a beautiful, beautiful moment, and I'm appreciative of
everything that's going to be coming tonight. Jaren Jackson member
the ninety nine champion, your team, four years with San
Antonio Spurs. Great to have him this evening on Sald
of Spurs podcast presented by Ask WBC. So long, everybody,
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