At this point, nothing should surprise you when it comes to the numbers Pierre Jackson puts up for the Idaho Stampede on a nightly basis. In 27 games this season, the 5-foot-11 guard is leading the league with an average of 30.2 points per contest. He's scored 40 or more points six different times and even came one point shy of eclipsing the half century mark in a win against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on December 14th.
But what he did last night was kind of special.
The last five days have been pretty wild in the D-League. First, on January 31st, the L.A. D-Fenders' Terrence Williams scored a D-League season-high 50 points in a win against the Idaho Stampede. The next night, the Stampede got some revenge, beating the D-Fenders by four points thanks to Kevin Murphy, who set a new season-high, pouring in 51 points to Williams' 26. In both those games, Pierre Jackson was quiet by his standards, totalling 30 points and 30 assists on 10-for-29 shooting from the field. But, as expected, he bounced back in a big way on Tuesday night, putting together his best game to date against the star-studded Texas Legends.
In 45 minutes, Jackson scored a D-League record 58 points on 24-for-33 shooting from the field and 7-for-13 from three. He scored 27 points in the fourth quarter alone, making 11-of-14 shots and 4-of-6 threes. Jackson also dished out eight assists, grabbed six rebounds, poked away one steal and committed just two turnovers in the Stampede's 136-122 victory.
Earlier this week, the D-League announced the rosters for the eighth annual D-League All-Star Game, which will take place in New Orleans on February 15th. Interestingly enough, this will be the first time Jackson has played in New Orleans this season as the Pelicans are yet to call him up, which even he couldn't help but get a laugh out of.
lucky enough to be picked to be a @nbadleague Allstar. 1st time actually playing in New Orleans will be as a Dleague Allstar! Swagg lol— Pierre Jackson (@PierreJackson55) February 4, 2014
When reporter Gino Pilato asked him about whether or not the trip will be an awkward one following his career-night, Jackson said:
Awkward? I don't know. But there will be a lot of nerves for sure. I'm going to see a lot of Pelicans fans and stuff out there, but they'll show love and I'm looking forward to that. That weekend is going to be about having fun. I'm a rookie anyways, so this is going to be a good experience for me to play in front of the fans and have fun.
It is surprising that Jackson hasn't received a call-up this season, but it's also easy to forget that he is just a rookie. Nevertheless, next weekend will give him a chance to perform on one of the NBA's biggest stages, as coaches, scouts and general managers will be in attendance to watch the D-League's brightest stars battle it out. While Jackson has been considered as the top prospect in the D-League for most of the season, he will undoubtably be the biggest name in the game in wake of his record breaking performance. And seeing as it is his first time playing in New Orleans, chances are he'll be even more motivated to strut his stuff in front of the people who have the power to make his NBA dream come true.