At 34 years old, you wouldn't expect the San Antonio Spurs' Stephen Jackson to be called anything close to an "All-Star," but Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle says otherwise.
Carlisle coached Jackson when they were both in the Indiana Pacers organization, so he knows Jackson's worth ethic and drive to win. These were his comments about Jackson to Star-Telegram.com.
“He’s an all-star caliber player — he’s that good a basketball player……..He’s a really good all-around player, he hits big shots, he can post, he can drive, he can hit three’s, he can defend and rebound. He’s going to play multiple positions.’’
Jackson isn't close to the player he was under Carlisle, but he still plays close to the way he used to.
He can still do many of the things Carlisle points he could do and that's what makes the Spurs one of the deepest team in the league. Jackson's versatility allows him to play every position except center. He's quick to play fast guards and strong enough to counter any post up by bigger players. His shooting makes him more dangerous on the court, forcing bigger players out of the paint to the three point line when the Spurs choose to go small.
He isn't young anymore, but he still brings every intangible and skill that an All-Star presents. The Spurs' youth and depth force Jackson to come off the bench with Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw. Those men could easily start for another team in the league but instead give the Spurs more weapons to play on the court.
Don't let his 6.8ppg and 3.1rpg fool you, he's still "Captain Jack" and when he gets more opportunities on the floor, he'll easily eclipse those numbers. Carlisle may be right about being an All-Star caliber player, but Jackson at this point of his career is waiting to show what he's got left on the floor when the real season begins in the playoffs.