Jackson discusses Stan Van Gundy's mentorship, Andre Drummond and Russell Westbrook
TNT's David Aldridge sat down with Reggie Jackson for a Q & A, with the Pistons' point guard opening up on multiple topics including his arrival in Detroit, playing with Andre Drummond and the apparent rivalry between him and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here are some of the best quotes:
Talking about learning to play with Dre
Um, to be honest, it's been a roller coaster. (laughs). We came in, started off like veterans, just like people think, trying to find chemistry. Just getting to know each other off the court has been helping us to push each other on the court. That's somebody that genuinely likes you. And I genuinely like him. I want what's best for him, as well as he does for me. In that aspect, we're going to help each other get this whole organization where it hasn't been for a while. Neither of us have really been to The Finals -- I was on the bench (in 2011). We've both got aspirations to do great things in this league, try to maximize the other to the best of our ability and really help lead this team in the direction that I think Stan has a great vision for.
(Andre) sees at times where I might be settling and he wants me to attack, and I feel like I'm doing what's right. But it just inspires me to go out there and be better, as well as I think times where I'm asking him to try to go down there and take a lot more pressure than what he's already taking and he may feel there's a mental barrier to do so, but I'm asking him to go beyond his own (limits). We just push each other to really be our best, which ultimately will help our team.
On how things in Detroit have panned out
It's been more (than what I've expected). It's been a lot of what I envisioned, an opportunity I've been dying for. Taking on the role has been more than what I've even envisioned at this level. [...] I've already had nights where I can feel the energy dwindling, and times where I may not be at my best. It's mentally fatiguing. Stan's challenged me to figure out ways to beat this mentally. And he really challenged me. He said 'you asked for it; you've always wanted to be the guy. You talked about it. You've gotta walk the walk.' He's been helping along this way, just continuing to pressure me to walk the walk and find more in myself that I even know is in there.
On his icy reception in Oklahoma
He probably just wishes it would have ended better ... people forget that there were three really great years, three and a half, really great years where the guys battled. It just wasn't in our fortune for us to be there forever. I had to take my opportunity to try and lead a team. And I'm enjoying every moment of it.
The entire interview is quite insightful and is a great read. Reggie goes on to talk about how he felt about the Pistons' offseason, including the contract Stan Van Gundy offered him, as well as the team's need for offensive consistency and how he became a leader in Motown. Read the full thing here, the interview is at the bottom of the page.
Grand Rapids Drive's Lorenzo Brown making case for NBA call-up
During his first year as a member of the Grand Rapids Drive, Lorenzo Brown put up 16.8 points and 3.8 assists per game, shooting a torrid 50.4% from the field and 38.9% from deep. His performance earned him a contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where the point guard averaged 4.2 points and 3.1 assists in slightly under 19 minutes per game through 29 contests. However, Brown didn't stick with the Wolves at the end of the season and came back to Grand Rapids for a second year.
And what a year he is having. The North Carolina State product is averaging 16 points and 6 assists in 14 games for the Drive so far, and, as Ridiculous Upside's Keith Schlosser explains, the point guard has been on a roll lately.
Proving to be a rather masterful floor general, Brown picked defenses apart, averaging 15.3 points, 11.7 assists, and 6.3 rebounds (through the week of Dec. 6-12). The fact that he's been able to find success on an individual level by making his teammates better says a lot. On the NBA level, there are already so many big-time scorers. Brown is a set-up artist, doing so in an efficient manner as well. In addition to logging that impressive double-double, he only committed 1 turnover per contest. Shooting 55%, he proved he could also be trusted to take it to the hole and penetrate against opposing defenders when teammates were in fact tied up. He does, however, do a good show of creating space and opening things up. Showing a relative tenacity and solid instincts on the defensive end, he even came up with 1.7 steals.
Lorenzo's impressive stat line earned him Ridiculous Upside's "Prospect of the Week" accolade, joining the likes of Raphiael Putney and Jimmer Fredette. The Pistons are currently not in need of an additional point guard with four healthy bodies manning the depth chart, but should trades or injury strike they wouldn't need to look far for a short-term replacement -- that is if he is still playing in the D-League.
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Jonas Jerebko (@JonasJerebko) December 16, 2015