DALLAS – As the business of the NBA sometimes go, the Dallas Mavericks were almost apologetic Saturday after they reluctantly waived point guard Pierre Jackson.
Jackson signed a second 10-day contract with the Mavs this past Wednesday, and later that night he collected four points, three rebounds and three assists in 24 solid minutes during the team’s 103-95 win over the New York Knicks.
Then on Thursday, Jackson earned his first career start and contributed nine points, two rebounds and four assists in only 13 minutes during the Mavs’ 109-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. All 13 minutes occurred in the first half because Jackson strained his left hamstring in the second quarter and was done for the remainder of the game.
And since the injury would sideline Jackson indefinitely, the Mavs decided to release him on Saturday and sign point guard Yogi Ferrell to a 10-day contract.
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Coach Rick Carlisle describes it as a "very bad break’’ for Jackson. Carlisle and Donnie Nelson – the Mavs’ president of basketball operations – even had a discussion with Jackson about his basketball future before waving him.
"Donnie and I talked to him yesterday and just explained to him that he’s obviously very close,’’ Carlisle said. "The No. 1 thing is to get himself healthy -- we will help him get healthy.
"This is one of the things when you are a minor league player there are challenging things that come at you all the time, and he’s fought off a lot of them. He fought off an Achilles tear, he’s fought off some other things. This is just another thing he’s going to have to get through, and then he’s going to be right there again.’’
Since Jackson was still under contract with the Mavs when they released him, he’ll still receive the remaining seven days of pay he had on his 10-day contract. But it doesn’t soften the blow on how they feel about unfortunate he is to have suffered a serious injury at this stage.
"He was just starting to hit his groove,’’ forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "I think there were times where he was a little caught in between where ‘do I make a play, or do I make a play for somebody else.’
"We want him to be aggressive, and I thought he found a good mix there in the OKC game. He came of a couple of screens and made some shots, and we needed that, so that’s tough to see.’’
Carlisle isn’t sure of the timetable for Jackson’s return. The Mavs just want him to stay encouraged.
"He’s young and he’ll get another chance in the league at some point,’’ Nowitzki said. "He just got to get healthy and go from there.’’
Carlisle chimed in with his own analysis.
"It was very tough break with Jackson getting hurt,’’ Carlisle said. "He was on his way to having a heckuva of a game (against OKC).
"But if he is unable to play the remainder of his 10-day contract we had to make this move. And it’s a good opportunity to look at a different player who is a little different kind of player.’’