MINNEAPOLIS — NBA Champion, former Spur and current ESPN analyst Stephen Jackson had a "twin." Not a biological one, but one he called one of his closest friends.
Jackson said his friendship with George Floyd started thanks to a mutual friend and then blossomed once they realized how much they looked like each other.
Floyd died in police custody Monday night, and bystander video has since circulated showing a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on Floyd's neck as Floyd says repeatedly, "I can't breathe."
"My boy was doing what he was supposed to do man, and you go ahead and kill my brother," Jackson said in one of his Instagram videos, posted soon after he found out about Floyd's death.
In that video, Jackson was emotional. He said that his friendship with Floyd was strong, and going on more than 25 years.
"If he needed me I was there for him and he was probably one of my biggest supporters," Jackson said. "Somebody who genuinely wanted to see me win and I think he was closer to me than some of my own family."
Twin. It's what Jackson calls Floyd in all of his Instagram posts, remembering Floyd's life.
"He's from Houston, Texas, Third Ward, and once he came home, he went to Minnesota to drive trucks," Jackson said. "He had rehabilitated his life, he wanted to change and he understood that when you want a change you sometimes have to relocate and change the demographic."
Jackson said he was thrilled to hear that Floyd was moving to Minnesota.
"I was happy for him, excited," Jackson said. "I heard it in his voice. He told me he was going out there, get his life together. All he ever talked about was better days. All he was talking about was getting better. All he talked about was his kids, living our lives, getting better, doing different things."
Jackson added that the loss of Floyd's life is especially painful because he said he knew Floyd was on the cusp of change.
"People tell me not to get angry and it's hard not to get angry--it's hard," Jackson said, tearing up. "Because I get the same anger when it happens to someone I don't know. I get the same anger when I see someone homeless on the street and I can't do nothing to help them."
Through out the past several years, Jackson said Floyd kept in touch, giving him life updates. Jackson described Floyd as someone who was devoted to his work and his family. He said of all the people Jackson had around him, Floyd's friendship was genuine--one in which he never abused their relationship.
"He knew that I played the game of basketball with passion and how it meant to me," Jackson said. "But all they talked about was the brawl I was in. He knew all these things, and he was just proud of me and supported me more than anybody."
Jackson said he is making his way to Minnesota to be here this Friday for his "twin." He said not many people may know him in Minnesota so he wanted to share to all what kind of person Floyd was.
"I'm going down there to let everyone know there's no reason to make up stuff and think what you knew about him," Jackson said. "I knew him. I'm here speaking of him and there's no reason to twist his words, or the way he lived or how he lived his life, or who he was. I'm here to make it clear who he was because I knew him."