Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson opened up on why he turned down the Thunder’s four-year, $48MM extension offer last year, telling Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (link to Podcast) that he was unhappy with his role on the team and wanted to start (the interview was transcribed by Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman here). Jackson made it clear before last season that he wanted to start at point guard and after his agent, Aaron Mintz, requested that the Thunder make a trade, the Pistons acquired Jackson in February. Jackson also said he was not surprised by the critical reactions to the five-year, $80MM deal he inked with the Pistons in July, but he didn’t pay much attention to them.
“I knew it was going to wow some people,” Jackson said. “Definitely it was going to wow the general population of the world. I had an idea it was going to be an eye-opener.”
Here’s more from around the Central Division:
- Speaking of the Pistons, Marc Berman of the New York Post speculates that Detroit point guard Brandon Jennings would be a good fit for the Knicks. Jennings played against the Knicks Tuesday night in his season debut. His name comes up in trade speculation because he is set to be a free agent this summer and the Pistons are already financially committed to Jackson. Backup Steve Blake has played well, too, as Berman points out. “I’m not really worried about contracts,’’ Jennings said. “I’m just worried about getting into the flow of basketball. My first game back, hopefully I’ll be blessed to play rest of season with no injuries.’’
- LeBron James made headlines when he said Kevin Love was the “focal point” of the Cavs coming into the season, but now the reality is setting in that Love has been inconsistent and as long as James is in his prime, he’ll always be the main point of the offense, Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Love, however, should be able to understand now, in his second year with the Cavs, that James has his support, Haynes adds.
- After recovering from his broken leg, Paul George is producing perhaps his best season and that is something the Pacers star intended on doing, Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports relays. “I really came into this season wanting to be here, wanting to be on top of the league now,” George told Lee. “I didn’t see it no other way.”