It's easy for Terrell Owens to identify the exact instant his relationship with the 49ers began to sour.

Owens points to the aftermath of the 2000 game when he twice ran to the star in the middle of Texas Stadium after catching touchdown passes against the Dallas Cowboys.

“I became a fan favorite,” Owens said in a recent sit-down interview that airs Thursday in The 49ers Insider Podcast and on NBC Sports Bay Area's "49ers Pregame Live."

“And I became hated by a lot of fans, too, especially opposing teams -- especially, the Dallas Cowboys at that time.”

The second time Owens ran to the star after catching a touchdown pass from Jeff Garcia, Dallas safety George Teague leveled him, setting off a melee among 49ers and Cowboys players.

The next day, then-49ers coach Steve Mariucci suspended Owens without pay for one game. Owens said he agrees with anyone who believes he became a different person after he received that team-imposed punishment.

“With me going to the star, I think my relationship with Coach Mariucci, it fractured at that time, as well,” Owens said.

Despite Owens' acrimonious relationship with the organization, he remained with the 49ers through the 2003 season. He ultimately was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for defensive end Brandon Whiting, who played just five games with the 49ers.

Owens said he's now on better terms with the 49ers organization.

He attended the August memorial service for Dwight Clark in San Francisco. Clark was the general manager when the 49ers chose Owens in the third round of the 1996 draft. He also was on hand during alumni weekend two weeks ago for the unveiling of “The Catch’” statues of Clark and Joe Montana.

 

On Thursday, Owens is scheduled to accept his Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence at halftime of the 49ers-Raiders game at Levi’s Stadium.

He also confirmed team CEO Jed York recently approached him about inducting him into the 49ers Hall of Fame.

“He said he wanted to bring me in,” Owens said. “I don’t have any ill will at this point in time. I always felt like I was a 49er.”

[RELATED: Why Jeff Garcia's Hall of Fame support meant so much to T.O.]

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