A look back on Antawn Jamison, a steady and consistent scorer

During the heyday of his career, Antawn Jamison was one of the NBA’s most steady and consistent scorers.

Standing at 6-foot-8, Jamison played both forward positions, and though he wasn’t always his team’s first option, he got buckets throughout his career. He’s one of 46 players in league history who’s part of the 20,000 career points club, with 20,042 total.

Through 16 seasons, Jamison only failed to average double figures in scoring three times — his rookie year and final two seasons in the league.

Jamison was drafted fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 1998 NBA draft, and he and former UNC teammate Vince Carter were swapped on draft night.

Carter went to Toronto and became the Raptors’ first star, and Jamison went to the Bay Area. He played his first five seasons with Golden State, and quickly established his reputation as a skilled scorer.

The lockout shortened 1998-99 season was Jamison’s rookie year. The league played 50 games, but Jamison still got to showcase his skills for the basketball world. He scored 9.6 points per game on 45.2% shooting, and according to NBA.com stats, he was fourth among rookies in rebounds per game (6.4).

Jamison’s production skyrocketed during his sophomore season. He scored 19.6 points per game on 47.1% shooting, ranking second in scoring among second-year players. Jamison also led sophomores in rebounds per game (8.3).

Once his third season came around, Jamison reached a statistical peak. During the 2000-01 season, he scored a career-high 24.9 points per game and led Golden State in scoring.

The season included two of Jamison’s best games ever, as the former Tar Heel went to another level in December 2000.

The Warriors were playing the Seattle SuperSonics on Dec. 3, and they had come into the game with a record of 5-12. The Sonics weren’t much better at 8-10.

Jamison scored a career-high 51 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Warriors lost 118-102. Jamison also shot a career-high 36 field goal attempts.

Not too long after that game, though, Jamison matched his own greatness.

Following the loss to Seattle, the Warriors had the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 6. The Lakers were 14-5 and were just coming off a win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Jamison and the late Kobe Bryant had a scoring battle, and both put up 51 points. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 125-122 in overtime. Jamison’s back-to-back 50-point games were the hallmark of his career season in which he ranked ninth in the league in scoring.

As Jamison progressed through his career, he started picking up individual accolades. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in August 2003, and he won the 2004 Sixth Man of the Year award during his lone season there.

After his brief stint in Dallas, Jamison was traded to the Washington Wizards in June 2004. Jamison spent his prime in Washington, and he earned both of his two All-Star appearances with the franchise.

Despite not having much playoff success — he only went past the first round twice — Jamison played his best postseason basketball during a 2007 first-round series.

The Wizards were playing the Cleveland Cavaliers, and LeBron James had the Cavs playing their best basketball since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Washington was swept in the first round, but Jamison had a great showing. He led the Wizards in scoring with 32.0 points per game, and he shot 47.6% from the field. He also led the team in rebounds per game (9.8).

Jamison would finish his career playing for the Cavaliers, Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. He had career averages of 18.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds, along with shooting 45.1% from the field.

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