After 13 seasons in the NBA, 2003 NBA Championship winner Stephen Jackson is swapping out his basketball for a microphone, and he insists he's better than any other baller to do it.
"Once I started putting mixtapes out towards the end of my (NBA) career (in 2012), I knew I was transitioning to doing it full-time,” Jackson, who goes by the name Stak5, told BET.com."
Toward the end of his days in the league, Jackson alluded to an emerging new career as a hip hop artist with the release of mixtapes like 2011's What's a Lockout? and 2012's Jack of All Trades. But now, with the "streets behind him," the Port Arthur, Texas, native is ready to embark on his passion 100 percent.
Jackson has been going hard in the booth (instead of the paint) working on new material like the single "Gumbo," featuring T.I., Jeezy and Rocko. The feature artists that the former NBA bad boy has already worked with reads like a who's who of Texas hip hop: Bun B, Slim Thug and Paul Wall. It was Wall who actually gave him his "big break," he said.
Once he did begin recording, Stak5 determined that, of all the NBA stars to take a shot in the rap game, he's got the best skills. Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson, for example, have all released notable hip hop songs. But as far as Stak5 is concerned, none of them are competing with him.
"Out of all the NBA players [to rap], I would say I am the best," he declared, before ranking who'd else be in his top three. "Behind me, I would say Shaq, then A.I." As for the worst, Stak5 crowned Kobe with the title.
However, with Shaq, Kobe and Iverson's rapping days in the past, Stak5 is looking to a new crop of ballers for musical assists. He released "Lonely at the Top" featuring Kevin Durant in 2012, and Stak5 was blown away by KD's talent.
"A lot of people see KD as one of the best basketball players ever," Stak5 said of the OKC forward. "If he wasn’t playing basketball, he would be a great MC."
Stak5 is also working on a new joint with Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard, which he said Lillard started working on after the playoffs.
Check the clip below to see what else Stak5 has on the horizon.
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(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)