Stephen Jackson has decided to retire from pro basketball, as he revealed via Instagram (hat tip to Manny Randhawa of the Indianapolis Star). The 37-year-old last played during the 2013/14 season for the Clippers. He saw action for eight different NBA teams across 14 seasons, remembered as much for his mercurial demeanor as his potent scoring prowess.
Jackson averaged 15.1 points a game for his career, a remarkable accomplishment given that he was just the 42nd overall pick in 1997. The swingman who came from Butler County Community College in Kansas didn’t appear in his first regular season game until more than three years later, though he jumped in and started 40 games for the Nets as a rookie in 2000/01. He moved on to the Spurs, where he helped them win the 2003 title, and he emerged as a scoring force with the Hawks the next season before a trade to the Pacers. His involvement in the 2004 brawl with the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills marred his tenure in Indiana, but a trade to the Warriors in the 2006/07 season revitalized his career.
Golden State entered the playoffs as the eighth seed and the shocked top-seeded Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs in Jackson’s first spring with the team, and the next season, he eclipsed 20 PPG for the first time in Don Nelson’s up-tempo offense. He set a career high with 20.7 PPG in 2008/09, but the Warriors traded him early the next season to Charlotte, where he helped the then-Bobcats to their first playoff appearance. He didn’t find as much success at his next stop with the Bucks, and his desire for a contract extension hasted his exit from Milwaukee, which sent him back to Golden State in the Andrew Bogut trade. The Warriors flipped him back to the Spurs two days later, but though he spent more than a year in his second San Antonio stint, he sparred with coach/president Gregg Popovich, and the team released him shortly before the 2013 playoffs as Jackson struggled to adapt to his diminished game. The Clippers signed him to a non-guaranteed deal early in 2013/14 but waived him a few weeks later rather than guarantee it for the season.
Jackson, who switched from Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports to Herb Rudoy of Interperformances before his Clippers stint, raked in more than $68.882MM for his career, according to Basketball-Reference and Basketball Insiders data. Remarkably, he only once made more than $10MM in a single season, and that came in 2012/13 with the Spurs.
What will you remember most about Jackson? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.