INDIANAPOLIS – Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers fired a gun in the air, apparently in self-defense, outside a strip club early Friday after he was slugged in the mouth and struck by a car that sent him tumbling onto the hood, police said.
There were no reports of anyone hit by gunfire. Jackson was limping but refused medical treatment at the scene, police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Mount said. Jackson conferred with a team trainer and sought treatment at a hospital.
Officers found a small amount of marijuana in the passenger side door of Pacer point guard Jamaal Tinsley's car, police said. Officers could not determine the car's driver or to whom the marijuana belonged, so no arrests were made.
Police were looking for the car that struck Jackson and three men believed involved. Jackson was at the Indianapolis club with teammates Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmie Hunter, police said.
Jackson told officers he fired his 9 mm pistol five times after he was hit in the mouth and tossed on the hood of the car, Mount said.
Coach Rick Carlisle declined comment Friday, and calls by The Associated Press to team president Larry Bird weren't and chief executive Donnie Walsh weren't immediately returned. Jackson's agent, Dan Fegan, said he had not spoken to Jackson.
The Pacers said Friday that all involved are cooperating with police, and none of the players at the strip club would be available to the media after practice Friday.
"Since this is an ongoing review of the matters that took place Friday morning, the Pacers will have no further comment at this time," the team said in a statement.
The NBA's drug policy says players who test positive for marijuana face rehabilitation, fines and suspensions, depending on whether it is a first offense. Testing is done randomly throughout the season and for reasonable cause.
League spokesman Tim Frank declined to comment on the specifics of the case but said the NBA was monitoring the situation.
The mayhem began with an argument inside Club Rio involving patrons and players, Mount said. The players said they left the club, but the patrons followed them.
"At some point when leaving the club, a verbal altercation ensued ... that turned into a physical altercation," Mount said.
Mount said police were reviewing a security tape from the club. He said the grainy image shows Jackson being hit by the car but not the gun firing.
Tinsley and Daniels also had guns in their cars, and all three armed players had weapons permits, Mount said, although Daniels' permit was issued by Florida.
The strip club's managers told police that professional athletes sometimes come to the club.
"They don't have a lot of problems there," Mount said.
Jackson was suspended 30 games for his role in a brawl with Detroit Pistons fans at Auburn Hills, Mich., two seasons ago. Last season, he repeatedly argued with officials and his coach, and was singled out by Bird for his negative attitude.
Jackson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges related to Auburn Hills and was sentenced in September 2005 to a year's probation and community service.
Bird said in May his players must shape up or play elsewhere next season. He said he was through dealing with what he said were bad attitudes, selfishness and laziness.
"They're the ones that have to make the changes," he said at the time. "If they can't make the changes, yes, we have to look to move them."
Jackson, a 28-year-old guard, joined the Pacers in 2004 and averaged 16 points during the 2005-06 season.
During a recent news conference, he hugged Carlisle and sat by his side to answer questions — a gesture the Pacers hoped would symbolize improved team chemistry. That happened a day after Carlisle signed a contract extension and was given the title of executive vice president of basketball operations.