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Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Stephen Jackson, Gang Banger

The Pacers' guard who went bananas vs. the Detroit fans last November admits to ESPN's Michael Smith that there's a reason he wears a red bandana off the court--because he has long been associated with the Bloods street gang:

"I was just raised like that," he says. "All my friends. I don't trip on nobody with no blue rag, but at the same time, it's what I represent. It's what I've represented since I was 9 years old. All my friends in my neighborhood. It was just inherited. I ain't banging, though.

He admits he was looking for the easy way out, although that lifestyle sounds like it turned out to be tough as hell:

"I'd be lying to you if I told you I didn't take that route. Everybody's selling drugs and everybody's hanging out," says Jackson, who said his older brother, Donald Buckner, was beaten to death when Jackson was 15.