Stephen Jackson last played in the NBA in 2013-14 with the Clippers and has since become one of ESPN’s top NBA analysts in his three years out of the league. Most would expect Jackson to have settled into his new life off the court — but still very much connected to the NBA — but it’s much harder than that for someone whose entire adult life was defined by playing basketball.
Retiring and staying retired is something many athletes struggle with, as they can still see plenty of the skills that made them among the best in the world and feel like they can still play. The BIG3 gives players like Jackson an outlet for showing off those skills in an environment tailor made for an aging player. They play one halfcourt game once a week for 10 weeks, reducing the wear and tear on the body.
However, being back on the court, while being a release, also stirs up feelings for some that they could make it back to the NBA. Jackson is among those that hopes his play in the BIG3 can spark a return to the NBA as a 39-year-old, as he told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio News-Express.