Michael Jordan will forever have the universal acclaim but when it comes to Chicago’s late 1990s dynasty, Steve Kerr is the player who beats even “His Airness” when it comes to respect.
Jarrett Jack, alongside the prestigious AC Green and All Star James Donaldson, is third all-time for the most games played in four consecutive seasons. Were you expecting a more imposing statistic?
Unfortunately there are no epic records, no awards, and not even many votes to highlight the splendid career of Jarrett Jack, who now has officially retired from professional basketball. Just like that, the 13-year NBA career of one of the great journeymen of the 2000s is officially over.
But if we step into a time machine and redo Jack’s career a dozen times, it’s safe to say we experienced one of the worst realities for how his career shaped out.
Not to say that any witnessed All Star considerations. But to play for nine teams in such a short span, mostly being shipped out for reasons out of his control, is unlucky at best and tragic at worst.
But for someone who went to four different high schools across the entire country, it was only fitting that Jack would turn out a journeyman in the pros.
In fact the only time Jack really found a home would be when playing for Georgia Tech, where he fought his way to the NCAA finals in his sophomore year.
After deciding to turn pro, not without finishing his degree in business management first, he became the only member of the Georgia Tech finals team to get drafted to the NBA.
Drafted by the Nuggets and somewhat ironically traded to the Blazers on draft night, Jack became the starting point guard in just his second season after Steve Blake and Sebastian Telfair were traded.
But for what would come as a running gag, Jack would be relegated back to the bench and then traded because the Blazers chose to bring back Steve Blake, who still averaged less points with more minutes.
A few one-season stints later and Jack’s name was put in a three-team trade where he would pack his bags to play for the increasingly competitive Golden State Warriors in 2013. Coach Mark Jackson gave him big minutes to back up Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and he excelled.
In one game he dropped 30 with ten dimes against the goliath San Antonio Spurs, becoming the first bench player to do so since Magic Johnson in 1996.
Jack finished sixth in Sixth Man of the Year voting, the only votes he would ever acquire. But then Jack left to join the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Warriors brought in Steve Blake of all people in the middle of the next season. Blake turned out to be washed and Jack again was left roaming in the shadows.
Many more trades later and after some substantial G-League time, Jack has called for his retirement. Choosing to stay involved, Jack has accepted an assistant coaching role with the Phoenix Suns.
Jack’s career was short but rampant. He might be remembered by younger fans for taking the worst full-court shot in NBA history or for going tit for tat against Stephen Curry in his first game as a Net, falling short.
But Jack did have an unequivocally impressive career, even if there’s no fan-base to celebrate it.