Hawks Sign Free Agent Stephen Jackson
ATLANTA, GA (October 3, 2003) ----- Atlanta Hawks General Manager Billy Knight today announced the signing of free agent guard/forward Stephen Jackson to a contract. Per team policy, terms were not announced.
"Obviously we are pleased to add Stephen to our team," said Knight. "He's a proven winner who was a major contributor on San Antonio's championship team last season and he has the versatility to play both wing positions for us. He has tremendous growth potential and we are ecstatic to add a player of his caliber to our team."
Jackson is coming off personal highs in virtually every statistical category in 80 games for the NBA Championship Spurs, with averages of 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 28.2 minutes of action. He hit 43.5 of his FG attempts and 32 percent of his shots from the three-point area. San Antonio's third-leading scorer a year ago, Jackson tallied a career-high of 28 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 20, 2002.
"This is where I wanted to be from the beginning," said Jackson. "Hopefully this is the start of great things for me and the Hawks organization. I want to contribute right away and help this team win. Shareef (Abdur-Rahim) and I go back to our days in Vancouver (training camp 1999) and I've known JT (Jason Terry) since his days in Arizona. We all have the same goal and that's to make the playoffs and win a championship, and I'm happy to do whatever I can to help us achieve that goal. It's been a long summer, but this is where I wanted to be from the beginning and I'm happy we were able to accomplish that today.
"I appreciate the time I spent with the Spurs, where I learned a great deal from playing with guys like Tim (Duncan) and David (Robinson) and I hope to bring those same experiences to Atlanta."
In the 2003 Playoffs, Jackson was third in scoring behind Duncan and Tony Parker, with 12.8 ppg. During the Finals against New Jersey, he started every game and recorded 10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists, as the Spurs beat his former team in the series, four games to two.
A three-year pro, Jackson brings career marks of 9.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 to the Hawks. He has made .427 percent of his shots from the field and gives the Hawks an immediate threat from long distance. Jackson's knocked down 32 percent of his three-point attempts over his career, which has included stops in New Jersey (2000-01) and several NBA training camps (Vancouver, 1999; Chicago, 1998; and Phoenix, 1997).
Jackson, originally selected in the second round of the 1997 NBA Draft by Phoenix (43rd overall), has also played in the CBA with the LaCrosse Bobcats (1997-98) and Fort Wayne Fury (1999-2000), in addition to a brief period of action in Australia, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
Named a McDonald's All-American as a senior (1996), Jackson spent his final high school season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. He led the East to a 120-105 victory in the McDonald's All-America game, finishing with a team-high 21 points. His teammates in that game were Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal and Tim Thomas. Jackson signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Arizona, but never enrolled there. He spent one semester at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, but did not play basketball there.
A native of Houston, Texas, Jackson was born April 5, 1978