Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson‘s departure from Oklahoma City last season wasn’t a clean break-up, and his former teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were candid in expressing their displeasure with Jackson taking his desire to depart the Thunder public, Royce Young of ESPN.com recounts. After Friday night’s victory over Detroit, Durant made some interesting comments regarding Jackson’s standing on the Pistons, Young notes. When asked about the job the Thunder did guarding center Andre Drummond, Durant said, “Steven Adams did a great job on their best player, and Andre Roberson did a great job on their second-best player in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Russ did his job.”
Jackson, who was booed mightily by the Oklahoma City crowd, responded by saying, “I love to be hated. It’s flattering, the greatest honor of them all. It’s love and spite all at the same time. They wouldn’t boo me if I didn’t do anything and build some memories here,” the ESPN scribe relays.
Here’s more from out of the Central Division:
- Cavs big man Tristan Thompson, a native Canadian, was rumored to be a target of the Raptors if he was unable to agree to a long-term deal with Cleveland over the summer, but the power forward says that he didn’t consider the possibility of joining Toronto during his contract impasse, Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal writes. “I never thought about it,” Thompson said. “My whole thing was to focus on getting better and whenever my situation was handled, my business was handled, that’s when I was going to get back on the court. Whenever it was, so be it. I’m glad it’s here in Cleveland.” Lloyd also noted that Thompson doesn’t appear to be overly motivated to play for a Canadian-based team, with Thompson adding, “As a kid I always watched the Raptors growing up and was a fan of the Raptors. When we were in the playoffs our first couple years I definitely cheered them on … But I’m a Cleveland guy and that’s where my heart’s at.”
- Derrick Rose, who knows a thing or two about recovering from a serious injury, is amazed at Pacers swingman Paul George‘s return to an All-Star level this season, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes. “It’s been great,” Rose said of watching George. “If anything, it gives kids, it gives people that are going through the same situation hope because who would have known that he would have come back this way? Seems like he’s a better player. He’s understanding the game a little bit more, he’s putting the team on his back in situations where he doesn’t let them go and be down big, so he’s taking the right shots. I think it’s helping him grow as a basketball player.“