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    Monday, 31 July 2017

    Former NBA champion eyeing comeback

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    Not only has Ice Cube’s Big3 League been a lot of fun to watch, but there’s a very real possibility that one of its standout players receives another shot at the NBA level.

    In a 50-40 victory for his Killer 3s over the Ball Hogs at American Airlines Center on Sunday, Stephen Jackson scored a game-high 23 points, and made quite the proclamation to reporters after the game.

    "I've been working to go back to the NBA, so this (league) is a blessing for me," Jackson said via Tom Orsborn of MySanAntonio.com. "I want to play basketball as long as I can. I feel like there are guys in the NBA who can't guard me.”

    "He's the most dominating player in the league," said Jackson's teammate, former Detroit Pistons star Chauncey Billups. "Nobody can guard him.”

    Jackson spent 14 years in the NBA and despite the fact that he’s been out of the league since the 2013-2014 campaign, he hasn’t seemed to lose a step. In fact, he claims he’s in the best shape of his life.

    "I didn't work out when I was in the NBA, but I'm working out as hard as I've ever worked out and I'm in the best shape I've ever been in," Jackson said.

    Despite his elite play in the Big3, Jackson understands that receiving an opportunity from an NBA team is a bit of a long shot.

    "I ain't putting all my eggs in one hat," he admitted. "I know what people think of me, and that's probably kept me out of the game. But as long as I'm playing and am around people I respect and am able to play the game, I'm cool. If it happens, it happens. If it don't, I love where I'm at.”

    Earlier in his Big3 season, Jackson predicted that the 10 best players in the league could take on and beat an actual NBA team, which proved how highly he viewed his level of competition.

    "I honestly feel that if you got the top 10 guys here, we could beat an actual NBA team," Jackson said, via Fox Sports 1. "Not just the summer league, we'll beat an actual NBA team.”

    Jackson won his only NBA title as a member of the San Antonio Spurs in the 2002-2003 and enjoyed his best individual season in 2009-2010, when he averaged 21.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals per contest for the Charlotte Hornets.

    Being back in Texas on Sunday created some fond memories for Jackson.

    “That’s what you play the game for, to win a championship,” he said. “I learned the most from that team. I learned how to be a professional. I learned what I need to do to play the game, and I learned how to play with great players. That helped me to be able to play 14 years in the NBA, so I owe a lot to the Spurs.”

    It remains to be seen whether or not an NBA team will give him a shot, but given the elite performances that he’s had during the three-on-three tournament, he might be worth a look despite his advanced age.

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