Fourth-year point guard Reggie Jackson spoke to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman about the upcoming season, including his role on the team for 2014/15 and ongoing negotiations for a rookie scale extension with the Thunder. The entire interview is worth the read, and we’ll roundup some of the highlights here.
On wanting to be a starter:
“I don’t think about ever coming off the bench for any team. If that’s the role I’m put in, that’s what I’m put in. But since the day I thought about playing in the NBA, I’ve always been a starter. Everything I’ve thought about, whether it be middle school, high school, kids leagues, I never envisioned coming off the bench. When you think about playing basketball, you see the first five guys get on the floor, and that’s something I’ve always prided myself on being…
It’s very prideful for me. I feel like I’m very talented. I feel like I can lead a team. That’s just how I’ve been raised and that’s just how I’ve always felt. I want to be the guy in charge. I want to be the guy leading the team. The head of the snake. I guess that’s just how I’m encrypted DNA-wise.”
On whether he expects to reach an extension agreement with Oklahoma City this summer:
“We haven’t really talked about it much this summer. I know my representation and the Thunder have been talking. But mostly I haven’t really gotten to talk super much about it. I’ve been busy. I think we’re just trying to figure things out and hopefully we can get a deal done… I’m not sure. I’m always hopeful. I’m hoping for the best, expecting the worst. That’s just how I kind of approach things. I’m just happy and blessed to be able to play basketball another day and wake up another day. Just seeing another day is a blessing. I hope to get things done. But if not, it is what it is. I can’t really dwell on it. I have to go out there and compete. That’s where I am. I have to go out there and enjoy the game and trust that my representation and us sitting down and figuring things out is hopefully going to lead to us getting something done before the deadline.
[It will take] communication. We have to figure out things that we can do on both ends. What we envision for the organization from both ends. I’d like to play a certain way. When it’s all said and done and I hang up my jersey, hang up my shoes, I have many goals that I want to accomplish. So I think it’s going to be about what’s the vision for obtaining those goals from both parts and what’s the vision that we have moving forward… I would love to get a deal done, but if that’s not what happens, that’s not what happens. I can’t necessarily dwell on it and think about that too much. I have to go out there and compete.”
“I pay attention to a lot of moves going on in the league. It’s a business. You want to figure out what every team is doing, not necessarily just from a contract standpoint. I want to figure out the landscape of the NBA and what teams are trying to do. What teams are really looking to contend and what’s the landscape and whats going to happen in the league. But I probably have paid attention a little more to [Bledsoe’s] situation.
I definitely factor in all those things. Young players getting paid. Especially with Gordon, who I believe was the class before me, and then Chandler who was in my class. A second-round pick who I’m happy for… You definitely kind of have to weigh yourself on what’s going on around the league. So you have to look at guys around you in similar classes and similar positions to try to get a barometer for what you should probably make. It’s been some groundbreaking deals going on this summer, and I have to take that into account when it comes to trying to get a deal done.”