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Stephen Jackson shares his thought process from parking lot before Club Rio shootout

Jack opens up in ESPN The Magazine interview about what went down at Club Rio that nearly had him killed.

Brett Deering

Look, I understand few around this joint want to revisit the details surrounding the sordid past of the Indiana Pacers when it comes to the Malice in the Palace or the Club Rio Trio. But as far as I'm concerned, it is such ancient history that when I hear something fresh I find it intriguing.

Stephen Jackson recently discussed the Club Rio incident in a long interview for ESPN The Magazine. After discussing his thoughts on the rap game and the Palace, Jack revealed some interesting details I have never heard about just how things went down at Club Rio, at least from his perspective in his car in the parking lot.

So what happened with the strip club incident?

I was there with Jamaal and some friends just for a night of fun and everything was cool. At the end of the night, I was in my car ready to leave.

Then I seen Jamaal walk out of the club with some guy walking behind him with hands in his back pocket like he was fixing to shoot him.

I hopped out of my car with my gun. I had a gun license at the time so it was all good. People think I was shooting up the place willy-nilly, but my gun was registered.

I saw the guy with his hand in his pocket so I cocked my gun and put it in his face. I slapped him with the gun and we got to fighting before I realized they had planned to jump Jamaal.

I've been in too many club fights not to know what's going on. I'm not going to get hit from behind, stomped out and just be laying there. So all of a sudden all these cars pull up and I let off a couple warning shots, like telling everyone to back up.

After that had happened, dude had jumped in his car and planned on trying to kill me. He hit me with his car. He drove straight into me and I flipped up in the air and landed face-first on the ground and knocked all my teeth out.

I hopped right up and lit his whole car up. I didn't think twice because I'm figuring he tried to smoke Jamaal.

This is not an everyday situation. Were you worried that you could have killed somebody?

No, because he tried to kill me. I knew it was self-defense. He hit me with his car at 45 mph in the parking lot. He tried to kill me. I was cool. I didn't have one drink that night.

As I was walking to my car and he was coming straight for me, I'm glad I was sober where I could think, and I just turned sideways. I hit the windshield and flipped up in the air; then I hit the ground.

I had to get plastic surgery on my lips with no anesthesia, with all my teeth gone. Can you imagine how painful that is?

Your career could have ended that night.

That night. That's why I know I'm here for a reason. My life is bigger than basketball.


This incident always grabs my attention because it happened on the same night that I set up my original blog with the first real post the next day about the training camp nightmare. I've heard Jack defend his actions before but in more general terms about having Tinsley's back.

This description paints a far more menacing picture than was reported at at the time and makes me wonder how some of those guys on that team ever made it out of town alive.