Kings hire Bobby Jackson as 'Ambassador' and assistant

Former Sacramento Kings guard Bobby Jackson today announced his retirement from the NBA as a player to pursue a career with the Kings off the court. Jackson will serve as the first-ever Kings Ambassador, as well as assisting President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie in Sacramento’s scouting department.

“It’s a tough day for me because I’m retiring from professionally playing the game I love,” said Jackson. “But it’s also a happy day because I’m retiring on my own terms and I get to work in a city and for an organization and franchise that I’ve grown fond of. I’m eager to help get the community involved in supporting the Kings as well as assist the team in putting a good product on the court.”

As the team Ambassador, Jackson will represent the Kings throughout the Sacramento region, engaging with fans, promoting the team and making frequent appearances in the community to support the organization’s initiatives.

Jackson played six of his 12 NBA seasons with the Kings, averaging 10.6 points (44.0 FG%, 35.6 3pt%, 81.0 FT%), 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 365 games with Sacramento. Drafted by the Seattle Sonics with the 23rd overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft and then traded to Denver on the night of the Draft, Jackson played for six teams in his NBA career: Denver, (1997-98), Minnesota (1998-99 - 1999-00), Sacramento (2000-01 - 2004-05, 2008-09), Memphis (2005-06), New Orleans (2006-07 -2007-08), and Houston (2007-08). Jackson ranks fifth in three-pointers made (381) and sixth in attempted (1,070) in Kings franchise history. He also ranks 10th in steals (356) in the Sacramento era.

“Bobby has been one of our most beloved players with the Kings,” Petrie said. “And it’s very gratifying to see him retire as a King along with the fact that he’s going to go forward and join the organization is really exciting for all of us. I’m really looking forward to working with him in a different type of environment. I know he’ll bring the same attributes as he did on the court.”

Jackson averaged 9.7 points (41.7 FG%, 35.4 3pt%, 79.3 FT%), 3.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game in 755 career games. In eight of his 12 seasons, Jackson played in the NBA Playoffs and averaged 9.2 points (40.5 FG%, 27.0 3pt%, 80.7 FT%), 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in 58 contests.

His best season came in 2002-03 when he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging a career-best 15.2 points (46.4 FG%, 37.9 3pt%, 84.6 FT%), 3.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in 59 games. He became just the second point guard in league history to win the award, joining Orlando’s Darrell Armstrong (1999). Jackson tallied a career-best 31 points versus the Clippers on Nov. 29, 2002.

Jackson remains one of the most beloved players in Sacramento-era history for his efforts both on and off the court. He established the Bobby Jackson Foundation in February 2004, a community-based organization created in honor of his mother, Sarah, who passed away in January 2002 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Additionally, he serves as the local spokesman for the Sacramento affiliate Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in memory of his mother.

Talk Kings basketball on the InsideHoops.com Sacramento Kings forum.