The Los Angeles Clippers have signed veteran forward Stephen Jackson, the team announced on Tuesday via press release.
The news comes just hours after reports surfaced hat the Clippers were close to coming to terms with the 35 year-old. Terms of the agreement were not made available per team policy, but it’s likely the Clippers used an exception to bring him in for a veteran’s minimum. Jackson will give the Clippers a defensive presence on the wing and some veteran leadership. He’s been named NBA Player of the Week on two occasions and was an NBA champion in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs.
Head coach Doc Rivers likes his pedigree and stated as much when he spoke with the Los Angels Times on Monday:
“We need him in a pinch and we need him like now,” Rivers said. “And that’s a guy that you can bring in and hopefully he can give you something right away with Reggie [Bullock] being out for at least this trip and maybe longer.”
The Clippers have suffered numerous injuries this season.
Bullock’s ankle is ailing, while Matt Barnes (retina) and J.J. Redick (hand) will be absent for the foreseeable future. Jackson’s diverse set of skills will be a good fit for a team missing a lot of bodies and skill sets. He doesn’t come without baggage, however. In 2004, he was suspended for 30 games for his role in one of the worst moments in league history when he went into the stands at The Palace at Auburn Hills and got into a fight with Detroit Pistons fans while with the Indiana Pacers.
He was also suspended seven games in 2006 for a felony charge of recklessness involving a firearm.
The Clippers hope those days are well behind him. At least from the player’s perspective, he’s thankful for the opportunity.
Jackson has averaged 15.3 points over the course of his career and spent last season with the Spurs.
Photo Credit: Eric Gay | AP
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