NBA Q&A: Jim Jackson

Posted by Unknown on Sunday, January 26, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of The Ticket

On where he’s currently living:
“I’m actually back in Ohio, back in Columbus, but I kept a place in Dallas for almost like 20 years, so I just sold my place here maybe two years ago. I became a fan of Dallas when I came and played. Even when I moved around the NBA, I always maintained a home up in Addison.”
On his thoughts on coach Dick Motta:
“Do be honest with you, the offense mind and genius that he had, it was incredible, because the offense that we had with Jamaal [Mashburn] and myself… I tell people all the time, I averaged 25, Jamaal averaged 24. It was the easiest points we scored just because of the way Dick Motta thought about offense. A lot of little runners that you see guys shooting now, the floaters in the lane, a lot of that stuff Coach Motta had us working on a lot during that time, and it was built around movement, getting to the free throw line, getting easy baskets, so from an offensive perspective, he was incredible.”
On why the era of the “Three Js” never flourished:
“It’s a couple of things. It’s not as easy to point to one thing, but I try to tell people this all the time that I was the first when I came in in ’92. Jamaal came in the following year, so we got a chance to play 82 games together, Jamaal and myself. When Jason [Kidd] came in my third year (Jamaal’s second) I got hurt 51 games into the season, so we never completed an 82-game season. The following year, Jamaal got hurt 20 games into the season, so we never completed an 82-game season. Then the following year, we all got traded. Now, couple that with that during my five years here in Dallas, had three different ownership groups … Then you also have four different coaches … We never really had an honest shot at it really working because of all the moving parts that took place.”
“It’s more so the outside influences that kind of took hold of what was going on. And a lot of it had to do with management that didn’t understand how to really get these three young guys and build around it, and I love Donald Carter to death, but from a management perspective, I think you can see a difference between a Mark Cuban and what the past ownerships were able to do.
“Jamaal and I still talk. I still talk to Jason every now and then when I see him, so a lot of the bad blood and the riffs and stuff like that, nah. It is what it is, but it’s unfortunate, because we thought at the time that if we all could have stayed healthy, we could have done something really special.”
On how his contract dispute and subsequent holdout that kept him away from all but 28 games his rookie season impacted his start in Dallas:
“It impacted it, I think, perception-wise. You have to really think about this … I’ll give you a good story. I’m the fourth pick, and at the time, it was a market set. So you got Shaquille O’Neal goes No. 1, Alonzo Mourning as No 2, and Christian Laettner as No. 3. So the market is already set. So here’s my window—at six years, I signed a $21 million deal, so Christian was at like 25 or 24 [million], so my market was between 21 and 25 [million]. That’s where it was at. So when I got drafted, and they tried to offer me a deal that was about what the eighth pick got. So Donald Carter came to Columbus in the big plane, and picked me up, and we were flying over Columbus, and he says, ‘Well Jimmy, I don’t think we should pay a guard this much money, because Randy White and Doug Smith didn’t really work out’
“And I said, ‘Mr. Carter, no disrespect,’ I said, ‘But that’s not my fault that they didn’t work out.’ I said, ‘Now, I’m the fourth pick. I’m not going to ask for anything more, but I’m not going to take less than what my market value is,’ and I said, ‘So if you don’t want to pay me what the fourth pick is, I understand. Trade the pick, but if not, I’m not coming in for anything less than that,’ because, you’ve got to think about it. I’m going to be selfish here. If I don’t sign for them, then later on, it hurts me on in my renegotiations. And it also hurts the fourth pick next year behind me, because I went below market value, which would have been Jamaal. So there’s a lot of factors going on, and my agent, honestly, left it up to me. Mr. Carter came in and said, ‘We’ve got a million-dollar signing bonus for you.’ I’m 22 years old, and I said, ‘You know what, Mr. Carter, I’ve never had a million dollars, so I don’t know what I’m missing, but I know if I shortchange myself, it’s going to hurt me longer in my career, so I’m going to go back to school. I’ll be in Columbus. If you want to do a deal, fine. If not, that’s where I’ll be.’
“I went back, and I was going to start taking classes, but my agent told me to hold out just in case something happened. Now, also, I had a lawsuit against the Mavericks and against—which people really don’t know about—against the NBA. Because David Stern came in and said, ‘You’ve got to stop paying these rookies these long-term and high-priced deals.’ Well, that’s collusion, and you can’t do that. You can’t tell an owner what to do. We got wind of it, got the players’ association and said, ‘Here’s what’s happened.’ So finally, the Mavericks came in and signed me. You know, they’re hugging and kissing and ‘hey, we’re so glad,’ but it was because of the lawsuit. Because they would have to pay me double what a Cleveland offer would be, so they came in and paid me everything for 28 games, and that’s the reason why, so there’s always an underlying story to what it is. It wasn’t as simple as two sides coming together. The lawsuit kind of trumped everything.”
On reflecting on his career:
“I would love to have been with Dallas my whole career, but that wasn’t what my path was going to be. It allowed me to meet a lot of people living in a lot of different cities, prepare me for life after the game.”