Nelson with the Magic
|No. 14 – Orlando Magic|
February 9, 1982 |
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Listed weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school||Chester (Chester, Pennsylvania)|
|College||Saint Joseph's (2000–2004)|
|NBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20th overall|
|Selected by the Denver Nuggets|
|Pro playing career||2004–present|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jameer Nelson (born February 9, 1982) is an American professional basketball point guard with the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball at Saint Joseph's University and was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets but was traded to the Orlando Magic, where he has played for his entire professional career. He is currently the team's captain.
Nelson began his play at Saint Joseph's University in the 2000–2001 NCAA season. He had a breakout freshman season in which he was named unanimous National Freshman of the Year. During his junior season in 2002–2003, he averaged 19.7 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game. He declared for the NBA Draft in 2003, but remained for his senior season.
Nelson led the Saint Joseph's Hawks to a 27–0 regular season record. The Hawks' first loss came in the Atlantic 10 Tournament to Xavier. Nelson and junior guard Delonte West formed what was largely considered the nation's best backcourt, helping the Hawks earn a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They advanced to the Elite Eight and were within seconds of the Final Four before Oklahoma State Cowboys' John Lucas III hit a three-pointer with only a few seconds remaining (after the make, Nelson dribbled up the court and had a chance to tie the game, but his 15-foot shot fell short.) Saint Joseph's finished with a 30–2 record, the best in the university's history. Nelson averaged 20.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.9 steals per game. He received the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award his final year, recognizing him as the nation's top senior men's basketball player. He left the Hawks as the best player in the program's history, as its all-time leader in scoring (2094 points), assists (714), and steals (256). Nelson's number was retired by the university on April 23, 2004.
Because of his extraordinary accomplishments as a senior, Nelson won the 2004 Wooden Award, the 2004 Naismith Award, the 2004 Bob Cousy Award, the Rupp Trophy, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and many more accolades, including being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Nelson was the first Atlantic Ten athlete to be on the cover of the magazine since Mark Macon in 1988.
Nelson was selected 20th in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, and was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic for a 2005 first-round draft pick. Though many speculated he would be a top 10 pick, he fell to number 20, and the Magic were able to acquire both Nelson and Dwight Howard in the same draft.
As a rookie, Nelson served as the primary backup to the Magic's All-Star point guard Steve Francis. Due to Nelson's impressive play, which earned him NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors and Rookie of the Year consideration, the Magic moved Francis to shooting guard to make room for Nelson to start at point guard. They still occasionally started Francis at point guard, and had Nelson come off the bench.
On February 22, 2006, the Magic dealt Steve Francis to the New York Knicks, paving the way for Nelson to become the long-term starting point guard. Nelson's play improved with the mid-season trade of Francis as he finished the season with averages of 14.6 points and 5 assists per game on 48.3% field goal shooting.
The following year, Nelson helped lead the Magic back into the postseason for the first time since 2003. He averaged 14.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game during the NBA playoffs, however the Magic were ultimately swept by the top-seeded Detroit Pistons in the first round.
During the 2008 All-Star weekend Slam Dunk Contest, Nelson assisted teammate Dwight Howard on several of his dunks, including the infamous Superman dunk. That year, the Magic once again made the playoffs, defeating the Toronto Raptors in the first round before falling to the Pistons in the second round. He averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game through the playoffs.
Nelson set career highs in points, steals, and shooting percentages during the 2008–2009 NBA season. He, along with teammates Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis were selected to play in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game. However a torn labrum in Nelson's right shoulder, a potential season-ending injury, forced him to miss the game. Nelson was averaging 16.7 points per game and 5.4 assists at the time. The Magic made just their second-ever NBA Finals appearance that year, and fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
Nelson and the Magic again surged into the playoffs the following season, sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats and Atlanta Hawks before falling to the Boston Celtics in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Nelson averaged 19 points and 4.8 assists per game, and started all 14 of the Magic's playoff games.
On March 18, 2011, Nelson made a game winning buzzer beater against the Denver Nuggets to secure an 85-82 victory for Orlando. However, on April 10, 2011, Nelson's last-second three-pointer was ruled "no basket", and the Magic lost to the Chicago Bulls 102–99.
In free agent status, Nelson told the Orlando Sentinel on July 5, 2012, that he had reached an agreement with the Magic on a new contract. He did not reveal the length or terms of the deal. "Glad to say I've reached an agreement with the Magic... I'm blessed to have the best fans and a great organization supporting me!" Nelson tweeted.
On February 23, 2014, Nelson scored his 8020th point, passing Shaquille O'Neal for fourth on the Magic's all-time scoring list.
On August 30, 2007, Nelson's father, Floyd "Pete" Nelson was reported missing after disappearing at his Chester tugboat repair shop located along the docks of the Delaware River at Front Street and Highland Avenue. Authorities said no one saw his father fall into the water. Nelson arrived at the search scene the next morning. On September 2, 2007, Floyd Nelson's body was found floating in the Delaware River. His death was ruled accidental.
He has a tattoo on his back that says All Eyes On Me, another one says Accomplish Everything Without Fear.
On July 5, 2008, he married longtime girlfriend Imani Tillery. He has one son, Jameer Jr., who is nicknamed Deuce.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- "Jameer Nelson, Orlando (30 pts., 8 ast., 5 rbs.) Is". Chicago Tribune. April 14, 2005.
- Smith, Sam (March 21, 2005). "Orlando, Skiles a perfect fit". Chicago Tribune.
- ESPN, Thursday, January 29, 2009.
- "Jameer Nelson drains 3 at buzzer as Magic prevail late". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 18, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
- NBA (March 19, 2011). "Jameer Nelson Hits the Game-Winner". YouTube. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- "Derrick Rose scores 39 as Bulls thwart Magic to hit 60-win plateau". Associated Press. April 10, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
- "Jameer Nelson staying with Magic". ESPN. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Jameer Nelson agrees to terms with Orlando Magic". WKMG TV Local 6. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- Notebook: Raptors 105, Magic 90
- St. Joe's serves up smiles all around
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- Official website
- Saint Joseph's bio at the Wayback Machine (archived April 11, 2004)