Word on the Street

Journeyman (jur’-ne-mun) noun. A veteran basketball player who has proven and legitimate worth, yet can never stay with a single team for more than a few years.

Usage example:Jim Jackson is the ultimate NBA journeyman.

Word trivia: The annals of NBA history are filled with both legends and flops. But there’s also an in-between world filled with proven veterans who can benefit a team for one or two seasons before being disappearing into the ether. Men like Kendall Gill, Luc Longley, Olden Polynice, and Derek Anderson all fell (or have fallen) into that “journyman” category: wiley vets who couldn’t put up big numbers but nonetheless provided substantive worth in some specific area (be it defense, rebounding, three-point shooting, or what have you). But for my money, Jim Jackson is the ultimate journeyman. This guy is a former lottery pick (number four overall in the 1992 draft) who used to score over 20 a game (including a career high of 25.7), with career averages of 14.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists …and he recently joined his 13th team in 14 years. Jackson isn’t an on-court distraction or a locker room cancer, and he can still put up numbers when he’s given minutes, but nobody has kept him for more than two seasons since the Mavs traded him to New Jersey. He was once on the roster of three different teams in one season, and that was when he was still getting around 17 a game!

Jim Jackson: journeyman for hire.

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Labels: Jim Jackson / Kendall Gill / Luc Longley / Olden Polynice / Derek Anderson / Dallas Mavericks / New Jersey Nets / NBA / Word on the Street

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