Jamal Mashburn had a successful basketball career that spanned from his time in high school to his time in the NBA.
The Beginning Stages
Mashburn learned how to play basketball at Rucker Park, where many future NBA players developed their craft.
Cardinal Hayes High School is where he attended and played basketball. In his senior year, Mashburn was a second-team Parade All-American and won the Mr. New York Basketball award.
Mashburn played all three years of his collegiate career at the University of Kentucky under coach Rick Pitino. In his freshman season at Kentucky, he averaged 12.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.5 APG and 1.3 SPG.
In his sophomore season, he led the team in scoring and rebounding with 21.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 1.8 SPG. Mashburn helped the Wildcats make the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 seed in the East Region, where they made it to the Elite Eight before being eliminated.
As a junior, he led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 1.5 SPG. Another NCAA tournament appearance followed, this time as the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Region where they made it all the way to the Final Four before being eliminated. In his junior season, Mashburn was named SEC Player of the Year and SEC Athlete of the Year as well as a consensus first-team All-American.
Over the course of his three seasons at Kentucky, Mashburn averaged 18.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.6 RPG while starting all 98 games. In the history of men’s basketball at the University of Kentucky, he ranks eighth in points per game all time. In addition, he ranks third and tenth in points per game in a season, as well as seventh in steals per game all time.
Hot Start in the NBA
Mashburn was selected 4th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1993 NBA Draft. He made an immediate impact. In his rookie season, he averaged 19.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.1 SPG. He started in 73 out of the 79 games he played. Mashburn finished off the season making the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
The following season, “The Three J’s”, also known as “The Triple J Ranch”, was formed. The trio consisted of Mashburn, Jim Jackson and Jason Kidd. In his second season, Mashburn had his best scoring season, averaging 24.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 1.0 SPG. He played and started in 80 games for the season. For the season, he was sixth in points per game, fifth in total points with 1,926, seventh in made field goals with 683, and fifth in free throws made with 447. He also scored 50 points in an overtime win against the Chicago Bulls.
His third season in the league got cut short due to a knee injury. He played and started in 18 games while averaging 23.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 0.8 SPG. This would be the last full season in which he would be a Maverick.
Mashburn played 37 games the following season with the Mavericks, starting 21 of them before being traded to the Miami Heat mid-season. In his final 37 games with Dallas, he averaged 10.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.9 SPG.
Not Done Yet
As a starter for the Heat, Mashburn averaged double-digits in scoring during his three and a half seasons. He also started in all four of the Heat’s playoff appearances from 1997 to 2000.
During the 2000 offseason, Mashburn was traded by the Heat to the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets played in Charlotte until the 2002-2003 season at which point they moved to New Orleans. Out of any of the teams he played on during his career, his average was the highest, 21.0 PPG, with the Hornets. From 2001 to 2003, he made three playoff appearances with the Hornets as a starter. In 2003, Mashburn made the All-NBA Third Team and was an All-Star.
In the middle of the 2005 season, the Hornets traded Mashburn to the Philadelphia 76ers but he never played a game for them due to chronic knee problems. Mashburn retired in 2006 after getting waived by the 76ers.
During his time with the Mavericks, Mashburn averaged 19.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 1.0 SPG. After having a good start to his career as part of the Mavericks, the team’s continuous losing record year after year, an injury that dragged down his statistics, and some drama between “The Three J’s” ultimately brought the team’s young trio of stars to an end.
Life After The NBA
Mashburn has kept busy since retiring. Following his retirement, he worked as an analyst for ESPN covering the NBA. Afterwards, he became an analyst on Westwood One Sports’ radio network, covering the NCAA.
Since retiring, Mashburn has been involved in many business ventures. Multiple franchises of Outback Steakhouse, Papa John’s, and Dunkin Donuts are owned by him. He also owns five car dealerships and a realty company in Kentucky. In 2019, he joined the advisory board of a marijuana health and wellness company. In addition, he is a partner of OI Memorial Stable with his former college coach, Rick Pitino, and several others. OI Memorial Stable owns Buffalo Man, a horse that was a prospect for the Kentucky Derby.
Since retiring, Mashburn has lived in Miami, Florida. He and his ex-wife divorced after 17 years of marriage. Jamal Mashburn Jr., Mashburn’s son, plays college basketball at the University of New Mexico and also played at the University of Minnesota as a freshman.
Mashburn’s basketball career was noteworthy as he achieved a variety of awards and honors along the way. Since retiring, he has continued to succeed as he appears to have found his niche as a businessman.