Last week I introduced you to the official circle…Behind The Bench. The only organization for wives, fiancees and moms of current and retired NBA players. So, it’s only right that I showcase some of the beautiful wives that I call friends.
Meet Mrs. Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jackson is a good friend. He and Speedy won an NBA Championship Title together with the San Antonio Spurs back in 2003. I met Renata in 2009 and once you spend time with her, you know exactly why Stevie fell in love. She is confident and God-fearing…but most of all, she is head over heels in love with her man.
I sat down with Renata and talked to her about everything from their foundation to her feelings about seeing Stephen’s ex on television. She was open & honest. Here’s what she had to say:
Me: How have you been?
Renata: I’m doing great!
Me: How long have you and Stephen been married?
Renata: It’ll be 3 years in July. July 11 to be exact.
Me: How did you guys meet?
Renata: We met in Atlanta in 2004 at a cookout. It’s a funny story because Stephen was actually being shy! Sending everyone over to me and I said why can’t he come up to me himself but by the time he got up the courage, I was over it (laughing). But two years later, I ran into my business partner’s salon on my way home. I was all sweaty and dusty and I had no clue he was in there. I spoke to my partner and on my way out, she called me back because Stephen wanted to talk to me and we’ve basically been together ever since. Stephen tells the story much better though!!
Me: Speedy and I know Stephen for years. They played together in San Antonio. Recently he got traded back there. How did you guys get the news?
Renata: It’s a funny story! We were on a layover and got wind of the possibility of a San Antonio trade in the airport and sat on pins and needles for about an hour until we got the news confirmed.
Me: I know Stevie must be excited! San Antonio is one of our favorite organizations. It is a family feel all the way around. The private movie screenings, the family bowling nights and the BBQs make us, the wives, feel comfortable too. And that’s important for us as the family of the players because we are all we have when we are moving from city to city.
Renata: He is ecstatic! Playing back in Texas is his dream. He wanted to stay but it didn’t work out at the time and now he is so happy to be back.
Me: That’s great…I am very happy for you guys. Speaking of teams, Stephen has played with Charlotte, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Indiana and Golden State, who are some of the wives that you call friends?
Renata: Shana Daniels (Marquis Daniels’ wife), Vanity Perkins (Kendrick Perkins’ wife), Juanika Ellis (Monta Ellis’ wife) and Michelle Harrington (Al Harrington’s wife).
Me: So if you were going on a double date, which NBA couple would you call?
Renata: Well Stephen and Al Harrington are best friends and we spend most of the summer with Michelle and Al Harrington at their Vegas home, so I’d say them.
Me: What do you all do for fun?
Renata: We have bowl-a-thons and we watch movies but Stephen is a homebody so we usually just chill at home.
Me: Ok cool, what about charities. What are some of your favorite causes?
Renata: Stephen’s foundation, The Jack1Foundation, is very dear to my heart. We are both from the Gulf and the Jack1Foundation helps to rebuild all of the cities (not just New Orleans) that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Me: That’s a beautiful thing. I didn’t know Stephen had a foundation. Where can we get more information?
Renata: http://www.stephenjackson1.com and click on Jack1Foundation
Me: I got a chance to see you guys at your birthday weekend in Miami and all it took was 2 minutes to see that Stephen is very much into you. How does he spoil you?
Renata: Yes, he is very loving. He had a day off and flew out to surprise me. I wasn’t expecting it because it was a girls trip. I couldn’t believe it! That’s how he spoils me, he is always doing cute things like that to surprise me.
Me: What’s an extravagant gift he has surprised you with?
Renata: Extravagant would be my Bentley GT but most special would be my engagement ring.
Me: Well, I want to ask you about Basketball Wives the tv show. Imani, Stephen’s ex, was on BBW LA. I know Imani from back in 2002 and she is cool as hell. One thing that I think is great is that she has never talked negatively about you to me and you have done the same. I have never felt caught in the middle. But what were your thoughts when you 1st heard your husband’s ex would be on a show called Basketball Wives and you are his actual wife?
Renata: Well you know, honestly, I wasn’t surprised. Everyone has a past and it didn’t surprise me. I am all for women making moves, so I can’t knock her hustle.
Me: That’s cool. You know, one thing I noticed and I was surprised about is that you and Stephen didn’t put a gag order on her like a lot of other players have been doing.
Renata: Well her life is her life. We don’t want t control what people do. The kids are the most important thing so as long as it’s not affecting them in a negative way, then we don’t say anything. We live our lives.
Me: That’s good.
Renata: It’s the truth.
Me: Well thanks for taking the time to let everyone know more about you and Stephen. I just have one more question. How do you show Stephen your love?
Renata: I hold him down. I don’t just love him…I love on him.