Stephen Jesse Jackson is a professional basketball player from the USA and plays as a swing man, which means that he can play as a small forward or as a shooting guard depending on his team’s needs. Jackson attended the Lincoln High School in Port Arthur but soon moved to the Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He played basketball with the Oak Hill Academy and went on to win All-America honours in 1996.
In the 1996 McDonald’s All-American game, he was the leading scorer in a team that also boasted of the likes of Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal and Tim Thomas. Although he was scheduled to join the University of Arizona, he was deemed ineligible due to his academics and had to spend one semester at the Butler Community College.
In 1997, he applied for the NBA Draft and was picked at 43rd overall, by the Phoenix Suns. However, the team waived him off in October without giving him a single chance to get onto the court. Jackson moved to the CBA and joined the La Crosse Bobcats for two seasons. He average just 12.7 minutes per game and had an average of 2.7 ppg. At the time, he had also had a short stint with the Sydney Kings in the National Basketball League of Australia. He also played in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
He returned to the USA in the 2000-01 season and joined the New Jersey Nets to begin his official rookie season. He had 77 games of which he started 40, averaging 8.2 ppg. He was also picked for the Schick Rookie Game at the All-Star weekend.
After just a single season at the Nets, Jackson moved to the San Antonio Spurs but injuries forced him to miss almost 45 games. He only managed to play 9.9 minutes per game and had a 3.9 ppg along with 1.1 rebounds per game. The following year, things looked better as he made 80 appearances averaging 11.8 points, 2.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds per 28.2 minutes. Jackson was vital in helping the Spurs win their second NBA title after being their third highest scorer in the post-season with 12.8 points per game.
At the end of the season, Jackson’s contract wasn’t renewed by the Spurs and that meant that he was a free agent. The Atlanta Hawks picked him up for what was to be his best season till date. Jackson averaged at 18.1 points with 3.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. His career-high 42-point game came against the Washington Wizards and after the All-Star break, he raised the numbers to read 24.0 ppg with 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game to become the 6th leading scorer in the NBA for that season.
After the 2003-04 season, the Hawks decided to trade him out to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Al Harrington and Jackson signed a 6-year, $38.3 million contract with the Pacers.
Jackson averaged 18.7 poinsts in his first season with the Pacers and had 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. However, his season was marred by a brawl with spectators during a game against the Detroit Pistons. Upon returning from suspension, Jackson’s game was moved up a notch when in the last 22 games of the season, he scored at 21.7 points per game.
The following season, Jackson would play 81 games at an average of 16.4 points per game. He kept improving as the season went on and in April, while pushing for a playoff place, he was scoring at 20.2 ppg.
In October of 2006, Jackson was charged with criminal recklessness after a brawl in a strip club in Indianapolis. He was given a 7-game suspension in a season where he had moved to the Golden State Warriors. The trade was mammoth! Jackson moved to Golden State along with Al Harrington, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell in exchange for Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod – 8 players involved.
Jackson’s debut with the Warriors was incredible as he scored 29 points with 5 steals, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. He helped the team to reach the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons after leading the scoring in 3 of the last 5 games including the last game of the season where the Warriors beat the Portland Trailblazers to clinch the playoff spot.
The Warriors were lined up against the Dallas Mavericks and in this uneven battle, surprisingly, the Mavericks were beaten. This was mainly due to Jackson’s incredible performance, which despite two ejections in game 2 and 5, were still good enough to win the series for the Warriors. In game 6 of the series, the tie was decided mainly due to Jackson as he shot 7 3-pointers, a franchisee layoff record, on his way to 33 points and also prevented eventual MVP Dirk Nowitzki from scoring in the double figures.
Jackson ended the series with a 22.8 ppg average as well as 3.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Jackson was one of the three players to be named captain of the Warriors in the season and was also named as the Western Conference Player of the Week for the last week of November.