Call From Tyronn Lue Led To Clippers Signing Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jackson wasted little time reporting to the Los Angeles Clippers. Jackson, who signed with the club on Tuesday, was active and played against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden on Wednesday night.
The Clippers found themselves in need of depth in the wake of injuries to Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick, Maalik Wayns and most recently Reggie Bullock. Jackson logged 12 minutes in the Clippers' 96-88 win over Boston, going 0-for-3 in his first game since April. The San Antonio Spurs waived Jackson on April 12, just days before the postseason began.
"I felt pretty good. I was winded,” Jackson said after the game. "My legs were tired as soon as I got in the game, but it felt good to get back out there. Getting a win in the first one is definitely sweet.”
Tyronn Lue, assistant coach for the Clippers, recruited Jackson by reaching out to the 35-year-old last month.
“Ty Lue called me like three weeks ago and asked what was going on,” Jackson explained. "He knew I had been working out. He told me they were interested and a few weeks later Doc [Rivers] called me. It happened just like that.”
Jackson went six months between NBA contracts, but kept himself prepared in the event the right situation presented itself.
"I wasn’t just sitting at home, watching television and eating popcorn. I was working out, keeping the faith that something good would happen,” said Jackson, who expects to struggle with his shot as he works back into game shape.
"I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve just got to get in shape and on the same page with these guys. Being out there felt great, man. Being able to play basketball with a great group of guys, I’m just happy to be back out there.”
The Clippers don’t need Jackson to provide much of an offensive punch given the scoring ability they have even on a depleted roster. They also won’t require the former NBA champion to immediately lead in the locker room. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin seem to be entrenched in those roles.
"[Defense] is my lane on this team,” Jackson said. "My role is to go out there and stop guys. All great teams have guys that take those types of roles on. That will be my role on this team."