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Stephen Jesse Jackson (born April 5, 1978 in Port Arthurmarker, Texasmarker) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. Jackson, a 6'8" swingman, is currently in his 10th NBA season.


When growing up, Jackson worked in his grandfather's soul food restaurant in Port Arthur, Texas where he used to wash dishes and bus tables. He prepped at Lincoln High School in Port Arthur before transferring to Oak Hill Academy (Virginiamarker) where he earned All-America honors in 1996. He was the leading scorer in the 1996 McDonald's All-American game, on a team that included Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal and Tim Thomas. Following a commitment to join the University of Arizonamarker, Jackson was ruled academically ineligible. He spent one semester at Butler Community College.

Jackson was selected 43rd overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, yet did not receive an opportunity to perform, as he was waived by the team on October 30. Following this development, Jackson then saw action in six games with the La Crosse Bobcats over two on-and-off seasons in the CBA, in which he averaged 2.7 points in 12.7 minutes per game. Additionally, Jackson had a brief stint with the Sydney Kings in Australia's National Basketball League. Continuing his basketball journey, Jackson played professionally in Venezuelamarker and the Dominican Republicmarker.

New Jersey Nets

Jackson did not play an NBA game until the 2000–01 season with the New Jersey Nets, officially deemed his rookie season. He appeared in 77 games (including 40 starts), in which he averaged 8.2 points per game, and established a close friendship with star point guard Stephon Marbury. Jackson was selected to play in the Schick Rookie Game at the 2001 All-Star Weekend, in which he tallied 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in the contest.

San Antonio Spurs

Before the 2001–2002 NBA season, he was signed by the San Antonio Spurs. Following a somewhat successful rookie campaign, Jackson was hampered by injuries and team expectations in 2001, missing a total of 45 games. Former assistant coach Mike Brown stated: "The first year we had him in San Antonio, he was on the (injured reserve) most of the year. At first, he didn't understand why because he probably was the most talented player we had on that team, but he needed to mature a little bit so we stuck him there to see how he would respond. He was the best teammate on our team that first year. He was the first guy off the bench high-fiving his teammates during timeouts. He was in every single huddle. He was juiced at practice ready to play and compete and make the starters better, and it carried over into his second year when he got his opportunity to get out onto the floor and prove he could be a vital part of the organization." His season averages were 3.9 points and 1.1 rebounds, logging approximately 9.9 minutes per game.

During the 2002–2003 NBA season, Jackson became a key member of the Spurs. Appearing in 80 games (58 starts), his season averages were 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. In the course of their postseason run in the 2003 NBA Playoffs, Jackson proved to be a vital asset and helped the Spurs win their second NBA Championship, averaging 12.8 points per game during the playoffs – the team's 3rd leading scorer.

Atlanta Hawks

In 2003, Jackson became a free agent during the offseason. He expected to be resigned by the Spurs to a big contract but that never occurred. He had to settle for a contract with less money on being signed by the Atlanta Hawks. Registering his best professional season to this point, Jackson established season averages of 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, in 80 total games (78 starts). On March 12, vs. the Washington Wizards, Jackson scored a career-high 42 points. In the 29 games following the All-Star Break, Jackson averaged 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. During this torrid post All-Star Break stretch, he was the NBA's 6th leading scorer.

Following the 2003–04 NBA season, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers for small forward Al Harrington (who finished 2nd place in Sixth Man of the Year voting), after signing a 6 year, $38.3 million contract.

Indiana Pacers

During his first season as a member of the Indiana Pacers in the 2004–05 NBA season, Jackson tallied averages of 18.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He received a 30-game suspension from the league after going into the stands and brawling with Detroit Pistons supporters during the Pacers–Pistons brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hillsmarker, on November 19, 2004. During this time, accompanied by 3 of his teammates, Jackson visited the Indiana Developmental Training Center. He donated a big screen television as well as other items.

Following his return from this lengthy suspension, he averaged 21.7 points per game in a span of 22 games, starting on March 3 (due to an injury to Pacers power forward Jermaine O'Neal).

Indiana's once promising post-season possibilities were marred by the suspension of small forward Ron Artest. Jackson averaged 18.9 points per game during the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, versus the Boston Celtics. A series loss in the next round at the hands of the Detroit Pistons would end the campaign, with Jackson leading the team in scoring during the playoffs with an average of 16.1 points per game.

In the 2005–06 NBA season, Jackson appeared in 81 games for the Pacers, averaging 16.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. A particularly impressive exhibition performed by Jackson came in a midseason victory over the Sacramento Kings, in which he made four consecutive 3-pointers on four straight possessions. As the playoff push ensued, he tallied an average of 20.2 points per game in the month of April.

On October 6, 2006, there were police reports that Jackson and three other Pacers players were involved in an argument with several patrons at Club Rio, a strip club in Indianapolismarker. Jackson was punched by one of the patrons and was hit by a car, rolling onto the hood. His injuries were considered minor. Jackson says he fired several gunshots from a 9-mm pistol as an act of self-defense. However, prosecutors later said he fired first. Jackson was charged October 11, 2006 with a felony count of criminal recklessness. He served a seven game suspension at the beginning of the 2007–08 NBA season as a Warrior for his legal problems.

Golden State Warriors

Jackson takes a jump shot.

On January 17, 2007, the Pacers dealt Jackson to the Golden State Warriors in a blockbuster eight player trade. Along with Al Harrington, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, and Josh Powell, Jackson was swapped for Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu, and Keith McLeod of the Warriors.

Jackson registered 29 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals in his Warriors debut, January 20, 2007 versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yet another significant, meaningful performance came on February 5, when Golden State traveled to Conseco Fieldhousemarker to compete against Jackson's former team. He tallied 36 points, leading the Warriors to a 113–98 victory over the Indiana Pacers. Rejuvenated by the change of scenery, Jackson averaged 19.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in February – taking the reins of principal playmaker while star point guard Baron Davis was injured. Jackson led the team in scoring 3 times during the last 5 games in the regular season, including the season-ending victory over the Portland Trail Blazers that clinched the Warriors' first playoff berth in 12 seasons.

In the Warriors 4–2 series victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Jackson garnered both positive and negative publicity. In what some consider the biggest upset in NBA history, Jackson was ejected from Games 2 and 5. The latter decision, in Game 5, was heavily criticized as Jackson appeared to be merely applauding at the end of the game to lift the spirits of his teammates, and not sarcastically at a referee. But Jackson redeemed himself by playing well the entire series, especially in the series-clinching Game 6, where Jackson tallied 33 points on a franchise playoff-record 7 three-pointers. Also, he continued to play aggressive defense against eventual MVP recipient Dirk Nowitzki, who was held to 8 points.

Baron Davis, who suffered a slight hamstring injury in the 1st quarter of Game 6, shares his thoughts regarding Jackson: "I told him (Stephen Jackson) I'll give it all I got and I didn't want to be the hardest worker out there. He had to carry me. He is the leader of this team and if you ask anyone on this team, he is the heart and soul of this team. He is a big-game performer and he knew just how important this game was. He is the only one on our team to have won a championship, so we had to feed off of him."

Jackson finished the series with per-game averages of 22.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.0 steals.

Prior to the 2007–08 NBA season, Jackson (along with guard Baron Davis and forward Matt Barnes) was named a team captain of the Warriors. Jackson was the recipient of the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Week (November 26 – December 2), averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.8 steals.

During the 2008–09 NBA season, Jackson registered three games of at least 30 points and 10 assists in a five-game span – the first NBA player to do so since LeBron James in 2007, and the first member of the Warriors since Tim Hardaway in 1992. He also tallied his first career triple double (30 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) against the Phoenix Suns in the midst of this stretch, on February 4th.

On November 17, 2008, Jackson signed a three-year contract extension with the Warriors. Jackson's 2008–2009 campaign effectively ended when he decided to officially determine the root cause of turf toe on his left foot, which had been ailing him for over 2 years. He underwent surgery on March 31, 2009 to remove multiple bone spurs above the nerve tissue under his big toe.

His per-game season averages were 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists (2nd only to LeBron James for forwards), 1.5 steals, and 39.6 minutes (2nd in the league, trailing only Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks).

Charlotte Bobcats

On November 16, 2009, Jackson was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats along with Acie Law in exchange for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanović.

Career transactions

Player profile

Generally, a modern-day NBA swingman provides a multitude of skills. Jackson is certainly no exception, as evidenced by his overall ability. Although he is known to be a somewhat streaky outside shooter, Jackson's range extends from the basket to the 3-point line. Additionally, against smaller players, he is often utilized in the post (where he is either double-teamed and creates an open shot for a teammate, or is able to manufacture a mid-range jumper). Through spurts of inefficient, turnover-prone play, Jackson has proved a reputable playmaking option, with above-average passing abilities and court vision. Defensively, Jackson is certainly amongst the better perimeter defenders in the league, due to his long wingspan, quickness, and awareness.

Current Golden State Warriors head coach Don Nelson, the 2nd-winningest coach in NBA history, articulates this brief summation of Jackson's game: "I don't think that people realize how good a player Jackson is, he guards every night, he makes plays, he can shoot, and the only thing that he doesn't do is rebound. He makes everyone around him better." Jackson's coach during his Indiana days, Rick Carlisle, describes Jackson as a "terrific all-around player... He's an experienced guy, strong and quick. He has a good understanding of the game on the defensive side of the ball."

Nelson later would say on December 26, 2007 before the Warriors game vs. the Timberwolves that Jackson made more of a difference than he realized after the team rebounded from an 0–6 start when Jackson missed the first seven games of the 2007–08 season. "I didn't think any one man would make that big a difference in our team but what I think he's done is get the rest of the guys to play at a higher level and I don't think its just been him. Its been his leadership that has solidified our team some."

NBA career statistics

Regular season

New Jersey
77 40 21.6 .425 .335 .719 2.7 1.8 1.1 .2 8.2
San Antonio
23 1 9.9 .374 .250 .706 1.1 .5 .6 .1 3.9
San Antonio
80 58 28.2 .435 .320 .760 3.6 2.3 1.6 .4 11.8
80 78 36.8 .425 .340 .785 4.6 3.1 1.8 .2 18.1
51 49 35.4 .403 .360 .830 4.9 2.3 1.2 .3 18.7
81 81 35.9 .411 .345 .786 3.9 2.8 1.3 .5 16.4
37 32 32.1 .419 .297 .822 2.6 3.1 .9 .5 14.1
Golden State
38 37 34.0 .446 .341 .804 3.3 4.6 1.3 .4 16.8
Golden State
73 73 39.1 .405 .363 .832 4.4 4.1 1.3 .4 20.1
Golden State
59 59 39.6 .414 .338 .826 5.1 6.5 1.5 .5 20.7
Golden State
9 9 33.3 .421 .275 .703 3.9 4.7 1.6 .7 16.6
4 4 41.8 .426 .294 .560 6.3 3.3 1.8 .0 17.8
612 521 32.6 .418 .340 .797 3.8 3.2 1.3 .4 15.5


San Antonio
24 24 33.8 .414 .336 .803 4.1 2.7 1.4 .4 12.8
13 13 36.3 .393 .317 .817 3.8 2.2 1.9 .5 16.1
6 6 37.8 .366 .231 .778 4.5 3.3 .7 .2 13.3
Golden State
11 11 41.3 .379 .361 .816 3.6 3.6 2.0 .7 19.9
54 54 36.4 .394 .328 .810 4.0 2.9 1.6 .4 15.1

Career highs

  • Points: 42 vs. Washington 03/12/04
  • Rebounds: 12 @Memphis 12/17/07
  • Assists: 15 vs. Minnesota 11/09/09
  • Steals: 6 vs. Philadelphia 04/06/04
  • Blocks: 4 @ Washington 11/25/08


Mainstream media outlets generally portray Jackson in a negative way, highlighting the fact that, in the past five years, he has been charged with felony criminal recklessness and a number of misdemeanors, including assault, disorderly conduct, and two counts of battery.

Some sources identify Jackson in a more positive manner. Former teammate Tim Duncan once labeled Jackson as the "ultimate teammate" during his days in San Antonio. ESPN analyst and sportswriter Michael Smith finds Jackson to be "articulate, charming, and thoughtful." Lang Whitaker, executive editor of Slam Magazine, states Jackson is "one of my favorite players, after all."

Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times conveys his opinion as such: "He takes the younger players under his wing, taking them shopping, dispensing advice, lending an ear. What's more, he does the little things that are unbecoming of a millionaire thug. He looks people in the eye when they talk to him, as if he cares about what they're saying. He frequently doles out handshakes, half-hugs and, to women, pecks on the cheek. He returns phone calls. He mends fences, lifts spirits, makes others feel special." Gwen Knapp, of the San Francisco Chronicle states "He couldn't have been more charming or more engaged, the perfect face of the franchise."

Former coach Rick Carlisle and current coach Don Nelson have constantly referred to Jackson's high character. On the Jim Rome show, Nelson stated Jackson is not simply a good person in the limited world of the NBA, but one of the finest people he has ever known. Pacers executive Donnie Walsh, who was principally responsible for the Golden State trade, stated "I love Jack to death. He's emotional and he's going to get technicals. But that's just part of the package. He's a great team guy."

During his 7-game suspension to begin the 2007–08 NBA season, Jackson decided to donate a significant portion of his time towards community service in the Oaklandmarker area, in order to make a positive impact while giving the public a chance to meet him. He organized several events, geared mainly towards children. Additionally, during a game against the Toronto Raptors, Jackson paid tribute to forward Matt Barnes and his ailing mother whom he had left to support in her battle against cancer, by wearing the number 22 on his headband. Jackson also offered to miss his return from suspension if Barnes needed the support at home. Jackson is also known to attend Bible study with other Warriors such as Kelenna Azubuike, former Warrior Al Harrington, and Brandan Wright. Pairing up with Southwest Airlinesmarker, Jackson and the Warriors organization arranged an essay contest for elementary school students from his hometown of Port Arthur, which gave 10 third-graders the opportunity to meet Jackson and receive tickets to the following night's game.

The NBA recognized Jackson for his ongoing charitable causes and presented him with the league's Community Assist Award for March 2008. During the month of March alone, he participated in a Silence the Violence rally, teamed up with Grammy Award-winner John Legend to raise funds for the Show Me Campaign, participated in a groundbreaking for a basketball court, and launched his own foundation.

In conjunction with the Good Tidings Foundation, Jackson unveiled the Stephen Jackson Basketball Court at Omega Boys Club in San Francisco on April 11, 2008. Additionally, in honor of Jackson's continued commitment to the Bay Area community, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed Saturday, April 12, 2008 – the day after the unveiling – as Stephen Jackson Day in San Francisco.


  1. Jackson Undergoes Toe Surgery The Sporting News, March 31, 2009
  2. – Player Movement Central 2003
  3. – Player Movement 2004
  4. Warriors Acquire Harrington, Jackson, Jasikevicius and Powell From Pacers

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