He can imagine the decibel level of the trash talk between Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks fans in the local barber shops.
Still, Jackson doesn't quite believe it's all real.
"There was no reason in the world for someone to think that Brooklyn would one day have a basketball team," Jackson said after Thursday's practice. "For it to take place is unbelievable."
Jackson will get to see the reality for himself Friday, when he takes his team into Brooklyn for the first time. In a lot of ways he'll be going home, but this home is far different from the one in which he lived after being born in 1965.
Jackson grew up with his father's stories about the Brooklyn Dodgers escaping New York's economic and social decay for booming California. He lived through the decommissioning of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, labor struggles, increasing crime rates and financial crises.
"Just to think that there's an arena in Brooklyn, it's almost funny to me," Jackson said. "It's incredible. I want to see it firsthand. I'm excited about it. It's where I'm from."