Jim Jackson’s rocky NBA entry
The last time Ohio State had a junior basketball player that was considered one of the top players in the nation, the Buckeyes managed to make a long tournament run only to have their star skip his senior season.
As a junior, Toledo native Jim Jackson averaged 22.4 points per game for the Buckeyes enroute to winning his second straight Big Ten Player of the Year award and conscious all-american selection in 1992. The Macomber High School product was also named the UPI Player of the Year selection that year.
The Buckeyes plowed through the Big Ten during the 1991-92 season and won the conference with a 15-3 record. Ohio State was rewarded with a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament and seemed primed to reach the final four until they were upset by sixth seeded Michigan 75-71 in the Elite Eight.
With a big NBA future on the horizon, Jackson left Columbus a year early only to be selected by the lowly Dallas Mavericks with the fourth pick in 1992 NBA Draft.
Jackson’s career got off to a rocky and a very delayed start when he vowed never to play for the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 11, 1992. After a 140 day and 54 game holdout, Jackson surprised everyone when he signed a six-year $20 million deal on March 5, 1993.
During the holdout, Jackson rejected trades to the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors before the trading deadline in later February 1993. He even threatened to enter the 1993 NBA Draft.
After the Mavericks went on to draft Jamal Mashburn and Jason Kidd respectively in the 1993 and 1994 drafts, the Three-J’s was never able to win more than 36 games in a single season. The high water mark for the trio came during Jackson’s third season which was cut short by an ankle injury 51 games into the season while he was averaging 25.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
By February 1997, Jackson was traded to New Jersey Nets along with Sam Cassell, Eric Montross, George McCloud, and Chris Gatling for Shawn Bradley, Ed O’Bannon, Robert Pack, and Khalid Reeves.
The move started Jackson’s revolving door career in which he was on the roster of 12 NBA teams which set a league roster over his 14 year career.
By the time he retired in 2006, Jackson had spent time with the Mavericks, Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns and Lakers. Besides his time with Dallas, Jackson never spent more than two seasons with any of his future employers.