Former NBA Champion Stephen Jackson Took a Unique Path to the NBA

Stephen Jackson played 14 seasons in the NBA. But he did not have an easy path getting to the league. Jackson is enjoying life after basketball now as he has a podcast with former NBA player Matt Barnes, and he’s made appearances on ESPN as a basketball analyst.

Jackson never gave up on his dream of making it to the NBA, and when he made it to the league, he had a successful career.

Stephen Jackson’s NBA career

Jackson made his NBA debut during the 2000-01 season with the New Jersey Nets. He played in 77 games starting in 40 and averaged 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Jackson was selected to play in the Rookie Game at the 2001 all-star game, and he finished with eight points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He had a pretty good rookie season with the Nets.

After spending one season with the Nets, he signed with the San Antonio Spurs the next season. When he joined the Spurs, he faced some injuries, and that allowed him to miss the majority of the season. The next season, Jackson was at full health and played an important role with the Spurs. Throughout the regular season, he played in 80 games, starting in 58 and averaged 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. The Spurs were one of the best teams in the league and made it to the 2003 NBA finals. During the finals, the Spurs took on the Nets, and Jackson started each game. The Spurs won 4-2, and Jackson was the fourth-leading scorer on the team averaging 10.3 points per game.

After winning a championship with the Spurs, Jackson became a free agent and ended up signing with the Atlanta Hawks. His numbers increased significantly as he averaged 18.1 points per game. He spent three seasons with the Indiana Pacers after his time and Atlanta and was a key player in Indiana.

Throughout his career, he played for multiple teams and became more of a scorer. During the 2007-08 season, he played for the Golden State Warriors and averaged 20.1 points, which was a career-high for him at the time.

Stephen Jackson’s career coming to an end

As Jackson was nearing the end of his career, he still proved to be a dominant player in the league. During the 2009-10 season with the Charlotte Bobcats, he averaged 21.1 points per game, which was the most he averaged in his career.

He finished his career playing for the Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, a second stint with the Spurs, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Jackson improved his game throughout his career and played for some teams who had success.

After his career ended, he finished averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. At 6-feet-8, Jackson was versatile and could play multiple positions. He also could defend different positions. Jackson already had experience playing professional basketball before he came into the league.

Stephen Jackson’s path to the NBA

Jackson did not go to a university or four-year school in college. He went to a community college and played at Butler CC. After his time playing in community college, Jackson heard his named called in the 1997 NBA draft. The Phoenix Suns selected him in the second round. The Suns waived Jackson in October.

He joined the La Crosse Bobcats of the Continental Basketball Association and played two on and off-seasons with the team. After playing in the CBA, he played overseas. He spent time in Australia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. In 1999, Jackson played in Venezuela and averaged 22.8 points and 3.9 assists through 48 games. The next year Jackson returned to the U.S. and made his debut in the NBA, and the rest is history.