Mavs From the Past: Jim Jackson


Jim Jackson has enjoyed a long and successful NBA career, one that has not yet ended, at least not off the court.

High School Years

His basketball success began in high school when he won numerous awards and honors. In his junior and senior years, he was a first-team Parade All-American. The Ohio Mr. Basketball award was presented to Jackson as a junior and senior.

College Years

Jackson played all three years of his college career at Ohio State University. In his freshman season, he averaged 16.1 points per game (PPG), 5.5 rebounds per game (RPG), 3.7 assists per game (APG), and 1.3 steals per game (SPG). As the No. 8 seed in the West Region, the Buckeyes made the NCAA tournament before being eliminated in the second round.

He improved on his stats the following year by putting up 18.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.8 SPG. He was voted a consensus first-team All-American and was the Big Ten Player of the Year. In Jackson’s second season with the Buckeyes, they made the NCAA tournament as the No.1 seed in the Midwest Region but got eliminated in the Sweet 16 round.

In his final year at OSU Jackson averaged 22.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.7 SPG. For the second straight year, he was named a consensus first-team All-American and won the Big Ten Player of the Year. In Jackson’s third year at OSU, the Buckeyes made it to the Elite Eight as the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Region before getting knocked out of the tournament.

During his time at OSU, Jackson started in all 93 games. He averaged 19.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.6 SPG as a Buckeye.

Welcome to the NBA

Jackson was selected by the Dallas Mavericks 4th overall in the 1992 NBA Draft. It was a bumpy start for him with the Mavericks. His time with them started off with contract disputes and almost suing the team and the NBA. After all the contract disputes were resolved, he played in the remaining 28 games of the season, all as a starter. In his shortened rookie season, Jackson made his presence known as he averaged 16.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.7 APG, and 1.4 SPG.

The following year Jackson improved his stats in all facets of the game. He averaged 19.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 1.1 SPG while starting in all 82 games.

The following season Jackson had his best scoring season in his career as he averaged 25.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 0.5 SPG in 51 games played, all of which he started in. He missed the last 31 games due to a sprained left ankle injury and a dislocated bone. In that same season, he scored a career-high 50 points in an overtime win over the Denver Nuggets. “The Three Js”, also known as “The Triple J Ranch,” was formed by Dallas’ trio of Jackson, Jason Kidd, and Jamal Mashburn at the beginning of the season when Kidd was selected second overall by the team. Mashburn had been drafted the year before.

The following season, Jackson continued his reign of dominance as he averaged 19.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 0.6 SPG while starting in every game. His time in Dallas would however soon come to a close.

Jackson played in 46 games with the Mavericks the following season before being traded mid-season to the New Jersey Nets. In his final half-season with the Mavericks, he averaged 15.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.2 SPG.

Traveling Around the League

Jackson quickly became a journeyman in the NBA. He spent the rest of the season with the Nets before getting traded in the offseason to the Philadelphia 76ers. Mid-season he was shipped off to the Golden State Warriors. 

He then became a free agent and signed with the Portland Trailblazers halfway into the following season. During that same offseason in 1999, the Trailblazers traded him to the Atlanta Hawks. He spent a season and a half in Atlanta before getting traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

He became a free agent again and signed with the Miami Heat in December 2001. The following year he signed with the Sacramento Kings as a free agent. During the 2003 offseason, he signed with the Houston Rockets as a free agent. The following season, the Rockets traded him to the New Orleans Hornets. They in turn would trade him a month later to the Phoenix Suns. A season later in March of 2006, the Suns waived Jackson. A few days later he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers where he would finish off the season and his career.

In total Jackson played on 12 NBA teams.

He spent the most time with the Mavericks out of all the teams he was on. As part of the Mavericks, Jackson averaged 19.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 0.9 SPG. His relationship with the Dallas Mavericks didn’t start on the right foot but over time the team and him got along. There was still friction between Jackson and coach Quinn Buckner, who coached the Mavericks during the 1993-1994 season, and he was at odds with fellow “Triple J Ranch” members Mashburn and Kidd. Jackson and Mashburn complained about one another ball hogging, Kidd was tired of the other two’s arguments, and there were rumors of Jackson and Kidd fighting over women, all of that added to a revolving door of coaches and the Mavericks continually losing, brought the Mavericks young trio to an end.

Analyst Years

Ever since stepping off the court, Jackson has continued to be part of the NBA as an analyst covering the league. He worked as an analyst covering collegiate basketball for the Big Ten Network. In more recent years Jackson has covered the NBA for Fox Sports and Turner Sports. In addition, he covers the Los Angeles Clippers as an analyst on Ball Sports West.


Jackson’s alma mater, OSU, retired his No. 22 jersey in 2001.

Jackson had a successful start to his basketball career. He won many awards and honors in high school and college. As soon as he entered the league, he made an immediate impact on the Mavericks and spent the best years of his career in Dallas. He continued to put up good numbers as a journeyman around the league. As an analyst, Jackson has used his extensive basketball knowledge to call games and show fans the ins and outs of basketball from a former player’s perspective.

Categories: Mavs Fans For Life, Mavs From the Past

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