The Pistons will look to Reggie Jackson, who re-signed with the team this offseason for five years and $80MM, to assume more of a leadership role within the franchise, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes. “The best leaders are normally the best followers,” Jackson said. “I have a tendency — I want to do everything perfect. I want to know why it works, why it doesn’t work and everybody’s position on the floor. I like to know what’s going on. Everybody doesn’t deliver the message well, but you have to filter out and listen to the message. I think that goes a long ways. I think a lot of my leadership comes from being willing to listen and in following. If I know how to do things right, then I feel like I’m confident enough to steer you in the right direction without hindering you, questioning myself if I’m giving you good advice.”
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- J.R. Smith is a fan of Cavaliers coach David Blatt, saying, “Coach really cares about me as a person…I’d run through a brick wall for coach,” Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com tweets.
- Bucks forward Jabari Parker has been medically cleared to participate in training camp activities, but the team will limit how much the second-year player does, Matt Velazquez of The Journal Sentinel writes. “I go within the hours, and whatever I’m able to complete, then you’ll be able to analyze that, but I can’t predict anything,” Parker said about the team’s precautions with him. “I’m just going to give everything I have for the amount of time and opportunity that I get.“
- Before signing with the Cavaliers this summer, Mo Williams sought out and received LeBron James‘ blessing, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays. “Yeah, you have to call. This is his team,” said Williams. “That’s no secret. The conversation was made and the feeling was mutual. It was a good conversation.” Williams had been publicly critical of James departing Cleveland to sign with the Heat, but the two have apparently mended fences since then.
- The addition of Greg Monroe as a free agent fits well with the Bucks‘ desire to be a more balanced offensive team, and not to overly rely on the deep ball for offense, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel writes. “The game is looked upon as just shooting threes,” coach Jason Kidd said. “For us, last year we were a team that was very successful in the paint. That’s where we scored a lot of our points and hopefully we can continue that. It’s all right to score twos, and if they’re close to the rim that helps. We have guys that can shoot the three, but we want to be able to get the ball in the paint, take the easy shot first and work inside-out.“