Stephen Jackson

And-Ones: Barrett, Jones, Seattle, Jackson

Small forward R.J. Barrett, considered the top junior prep player, has been reclassified as a senior for the next school year and could be eligible for the draft in 2019, according to Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com. The Ontario native will be eligible to sign a national letter of intent in November and is being recruited by virtually all the top programs, Biancardi continues. The 6’6” Barrett was the tournament MVP while leading Team Canada to a gold medal in the FIBA U19 World Cup.

In other news around the league:

  • Forward Terrence Jones signed a one-year contract to play in China but it’s clear he just sees it as a temporary stay, as he told Oliver Maroney of Uproxx.com in a Q&A session. Jones views his upcoming season with Qingdao as a “last opportunity” to show he can be a better all-around player so that he can return to the NBA. He was waived by both the Pelicans and Bucks last season. “This is my last opportunity to prove to my family, my city and myself that I deserve where I dream to be,” Jones told Maroney. “I want to be a champion in the NBA, I want to win a lot of games and I want the opportunity to have the best job in my world, that’s playing in the NBA. I feel like I’ve made some immature decisions in life before this summer. But whenever I do get that next opportunity, I’m going to make sure I take full advantage of it.”
  • Seattle is a likely choice for an expansion franchise but it’s not going to happen in the short term, as David Aldridge of NBA.com examines in depth. With NBA franchises raking in money, current owners don’t have much incentive to give a piece of the $24 billion they are receiving on TV deals through 2025 to an expansion franchise, Aldridge continues. There are two competing groups who are hoping to be awarded with a potential Seattle franchise and it’s unknown which group the league favors, Aldridge adds.
  • Stephen Jackson hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season but he’s holding out hope of hooking onto a team this season, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports. Jackson, 39, has been playing in the BIG3 league and he is the league’s second-leading scorer at 21 PPG. “I want to play basketball as long as I can,” Jackson told Orsborn. “I feel like there are guys in the NBA who can’t guard me.”

Charles Oakley To Join BIG3 As A Player/Coach

Charles Oakley is the latest addition to the BIG3 basketball league, joining the “KILLER 3s” team as a player/coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The KILLER 3s will be comprised of Oakley, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, and two other players.

Ice Cube, the BIG3’s co-founder, and Oakley each expressed their satisfaction with the signing. “The players and coaches are our central focus at the BIG3,” Ice Cube said in a statement relayed by Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. “Charles Oakley is an NBA legend, who deserves and has earned respect, and will get just that in our league.”

“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this league,” Oakley added. “Everyone seems to realize we are about to make history together as players. What an exciting opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best ever.”

Oakley, 53, most recently played in the NBA with Houston in 2003/4, scoring nine points over seven games.

And-Ones: Blue, BIG3, NBPA, Draft, Expansion

NBA D-League veteran Vander Blue has appeared in more than 150 NBADL games since making his debut in 2013, and once again ranks among the league’s scoring leaders this season. In 35 games for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Blue has averaged 25.2 PPG and has shot 37.2% on three-point attempts.

Despite his success in the D-League, the former Marquette standout has only appeared in five NBA regular-season games. Nonetheless, at age 24, he continues to believe he’s deserving a longer look in the NBA, telling Alberto de Roa of HoopsHype that he knows it’s eventually going to happen. In fact, as he focuses on producing for the D-Fenders and earning another shot in the NBA, he says he’s not considering more lucrative offers overseas.

“I told my agent I don’t really wanna hear about overseas right now,” Blue said. “I feel like if I start thinking about that I’m gonna lose focus about what I need to do here. And I want my mind, my soul, my body all to be in one spot so I can really be the best I can be.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:

  • The BIG3 has confirmed another new team, announcing in a press release that Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, and three other players will team up on a club called the Killer 3s. Previously, we heard that Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams would co-captain a team called the 3 Headed Monsters.
  • TNT’s David Aldridge spoke to NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, engaging in an interesting Q&A on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and her role as an advocate for the league’s players.
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) has updated his latest 2017 mock draft in the wake of this week’s trades, which saw two first-round picks change hands. The Trail Blazers and Magic acquired first-rounders from Denver and Toronto, respectively, so Ford has incorporated new picks for those teams.
  • There’s no indication that the NBA is seriously considering expansion at the moment, but that didn’t stop Tom Ziller of SBNation.com from identifying his top 13 candidates for a new NBA franchise, from an obvious choice (Seattle) at No. 1 to a surprise choice at No. 13.

New Pro League For Retired Players To Debut In 2017

Longtime NBA guard Roger Mason is leaving his position as the deputy executive director of the National Basketball Players Association to help launch a new professional basketball league for retired players, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. According to Wojnarowski, Mason will serve as president and commissioner of the new league.

As Wojnarowski details, Mason will partner with rapper and actor Ice Cube – and multiple investors – to launch the league in June 2017. The plan is for eight teams – made up of five players apiece – to tour together from city to city for 10 weeks in the summer, playing three-on-three, half-court games. The league, which will be known as TheBig3, is being founded by Ice Cube, who spoke to Wojnarowski about the project.

“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube said. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.

“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”

Per Wojnarowski, former NBA players who have committed to play on teams in the league include Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis, and Jason Williams. Additionally, Gary Payton has agreed to coach one of the teams.

As for Mason, he played a significant role in the NBPA’s transition over the last several years, and will leave the union as it prepares to officially ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA. According to Wojnarowski, the NBPA’s focus on taking care of retired and elderly former players in the new CBA was in large part due to Mason.

An official news conference to announce TheBig3 is expected in January, says Wojnarowski.

Warriors Rumors: S. Jackson, Durant, Arena

Veteran NBA swingman Stephen Jackson is still hoping to catch on with a team for training camp, but he won’t be rejoining his old club in Golden State. According to head coach Steve Kerr, the two sides talked in the summer about a potential deal, but it “ultimately didn’t pan out” (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Bay Area News Group).

Here’s more out of the Bay Area on the defending Western Conference champs:

  • Stephen Curry called the decision to add Kevin Durant to the Warriors’ roster this summer a “no-brainer,” suggesting he’s not worried about how the two former MVPs will mesh in Golden State, writes Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • Meanwhile, Kerr used similar language to describe a lower-profile offseason signing for the team, calling the decision to add JaVale McGee an easy one, per Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com. “He’s a talented guy,” Kerr said. “He’s athletic. He’s big. It’s a no-brainer.”
  • Kerr also weighed in on several other topics, including most of the Warriors’ offseason moves, and Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News has the full transcript in two parts, so be sure to check those out.
  • Appearing on HBO’s Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, Durant addressed his decision to leave the Thunder for the Warriors, his relationship with Russell Westbrook, and his frustration with how his decision was covered. Erik Horne of The Oklahoman passes along several of Durant’s comments from the show.
  • In a piece for The Mercury News, Anthony Slater speaks to Warriors president Rick Welts to get an update on the arena project being undertaken by the team in San Francisco. As Slater details, Welts hopes to break ground by early 2017 and have the arena ready for the start of the 2019/20 NBA season.

And-Ones: Dalembert, S. Jackson, Larkin

Longtime NBA center Samuel Dalembert is facing battery charges for allegedly pushing his girlfriend and then choking her cousin when he tried to intervene, according to an Associated Press report (link via ESPN.com). Dalembert, whose last NBA action came with the Knicks in 2014/15, played in China last season, so it’s not clear whether he’s still hoping for an NBA comeback — if he is, his arrest likely reduced his chances of returning.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:

  • Stephen Jackson continues to seek an NBA job, and tells Rodger Bohn of SlamOnline.com that he isn’t interested in heading overseas or playing in the D-League. “NBA or nothing, man,” Jackson said. “I don’t need the money. I just want to give back to the game. Anything else is a step down, so I just want to give the NBA a shot.”
  • Former first-round pick Shane Larkin, who spoke to HoopsHype last month about his decision to opt out of his Nets contract and sign in Spain, discussed the move overseas with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Larkin stressed that he’s excited about the opportunity to play for Baskonia, pointing to the impressive list of NBA players who have played for the team in the past.
  • As Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk passes along, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue told TMZ that his old NBA Finals nemesis Allen Iverson would be welcome to “come coach with me” if Iverson has interest in pursuing a coaching career.

Free Agent Notes: N. Robinson, S. Jackson, Cole

Earlier today, we passed along comments from Jason Terry on his free agency process and the teams he considered before landing with the Bucks. While Terry eventually found a new home, another veteran guard is still looking for a place to play.

In a separate conversation on SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link), Nate Robinson told Terry that he wishes NBA teams would give him a fair shot at earning a roster spot and making a comeback. Last month, we heard that Robinson wasn’t receiving much interest around the league, in part because teams were turned off by his previously-stated interest in joining the NFL.

Here are a few more free agent notes from across the NBA:

  • Stephen Jackson, another longtime NBA veteran attempting to make an NBA comeback, also appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio this week (SoundCloud link). Jackson suggested he has “a good two years left” and named the Knicks, Bulls, and Pelicans as a few teams that would interest him. “I’m not one of those guys chasing the ring,” Jackson said. “I have one, so I’m really not one of those guys that’s looking to be a part of a championship team and try to steal a ring and not really earn it. … I just want to play basketball and do what I love to do.”
  • According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), free agent guard Norris Cole, who has been represented by Rich Paul for the last two years, has a new agent. The Timberwolves received a call from Cole’s new rep this week and didn’t completely dismiss the idea of signing him, but there’s nothing close right now, says Wolfson. Minnesota already has three point guards with guaranteed salaries on the roster, and yesterday added two more veterans to compete in camp.
  • John Wall, who underwent two offseason knee procedures, isn’t a lock to be ready by opening night, prompting Ben Standig of CSNMidAtlantic.com to wonder if the Wizards will explore adding more point guard depth to their roster. There are still several experienced point guards on the free agent market.

Eastern Notes: Jackson, Cavs, Howard

Stephen Jackson, who is reportedly eyeing an NBA return, says he’s being recruited by members of the Bulls, Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype relays.

Well, actually not a lot of people know that Jimmy Butler has been calling me,” Jackson told Barrigon. “We’ve been talking for like three months now. Even Rajon Rondo has been calling me, they really want me on the Bulls team. I’ve been talking to a lot of guys, because guys know what I bring. There’s not many guys like me. There’s probably one or two guys in the NBA like me that can play both ways and don’t mind really shutting the guy down. I’m a winner, I’ve been in the playoffs many years. Guys know I’m a great teammate, Tim Duncan called me the ultimate teammate. I know how to play good for the guy next to me. I’m getting calls and I will be ready and that’s the biggest part.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • DeAndre Ligginstwo-year deal with the Cavaliers includes a partial guarantee of $25K for 2016/17 and the second year is a team option, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (via Twitter).
  • The first season of Kay Felder‘s three-year pact with the Cavs is fully guaranteed, Pincus tweets. The scribe also notes that $456,529 of his $905,249 salary for 2017/18 is guaranteed.
  • The general consensus among members of the Hawks is that free agent signee Dwight Howard will make the team better than it was a season ago, writes KL Chouinard of NBA.com. “Offensively we have a consistent roll guy, a guy who can put pressure on the basket every time you set a pick-and-roll,” forward Paul Millsap said of Howard.
  • The Vertical’s Bobby Marks took a look back at the Hornets‘ offseason moves and their expected impact on the team.

Stephen Jackson Eyes Return To NBA

Stephen Jackson hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than two years, but according to a video he posted via Instagram Thursday, he expects to return for the 2016/17 season.

“I just want to let everybody know that I will be back in the NBA this year,” said Jackson, 38. “I can’t say exactly what’s going on right now, because you know, people try to run with stuff and everything’s not locked in yet, but I will be back in the NBA this year. So to everybody that’s been supporting me, praying for me, I appreciate it. The haters, I appreciate ya’ll too, because ya’ll motivated me to prove ya’ll wrong.”

Since Jackson did not offer specific details, it’s unclear how legitimate his statements are. In June, it was reported that the Warriors had shown some interest in adding Jackson to their coaching staff. It was also made clear at that time, however, Jackson wasn’t quite ready to transition to the coaching ranks.

Jackson, who announced his retirement last summer after 14 seasons has career averages of 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He last appeared on the court while with the Clippers in the 2013/14 season, where he played in only nine games and averaged 1.7 points in 11.9 minutes.

Stephen Jackson Aiming For NBA Comeback

The Warriors have shown some interest in adding longtime NBA forward Stephen Jackson to their coaching staff, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. However, as Stein tweets, Jackson isn’t interested in transitioning into the next phase of his career quite yet — the 38-year-old, who announced his retirement last summer, hopes to find a spot on an NBA roster for this season.

Jackson himself confirmed as much during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump (video link), suggesting that he “definitely didn’t leave” on his own terms and that he has been working out and keeping himself in shape in the hopes of making a comeback.

Given how long he has been away from the game, Jackson could likely had be had on a minimum-salary contract, which might interest some teams around the NBA. But even though clubs may kick the tires on the former second-round pick, his multiyear absence from the league will give those clubs pause. Jackson hasn’t appeared on the court since January of 2014, and hasn’t had a real rotation role on an NBA team since the 2012/13 season, when he played with the Spurs.

Over the course of his 14 NBA seasons, Jackson averaged 15.1 points per game in 858 regular-season contests, and appeared in another 72 playoff games. He was also a member of the Spurs squad that won the Finals at the end of the 2002/03 season. However, Jackson’s numbers dipped significantly near the end of his career — in his last three seasons, he averaged 7.4 PPG with a .369 FG% in 111 games with the Bucks, Spurs, and Clippers.

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