Last season was Reggie Jackson‘s first as a full-time starter, and he rose to the challenge. Jackson averaged 18.8 points and 6.2 assists in the most efficient year of his career, and the Detroit Pistons made the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Heading into 2016-17, the point guard is optimistic about the Pistons’ summer acquisitions and ready to take on more of a leadership role, Jackson told Pistons.com’s Keith Langlois:
“I’m ready for the challenge. I’m ready to be a voice of reason, a voice of serenity and calmness for this team, and try to keep motivating us to push forward. But it’s going to be a collective effort that we all get on this train and keep moving it.”
“I think people are looking for huge names and that’s not necessarily what Detroit’s ever done,” he said. “We do it collectively. We don’t need anyone to believe in us. We’ll still find a way. But I think we shored up our second unit and added some more versatility and some more depth. I think we’ll be scary this year. But you know what? I don’t want to talk about it too much. We’ll let the season speak for itself.”
Jackson has a reputation as a hard worker, but a quiet guy. He said that, with veterans Anthony Tolliver, Steve Blake and Joel Anthony not returning, it’s up to him “and a few of the other guys” to step up. That probably won’t mean a lot of yelling, but coach Stan Van Gundy has that area covered, anyway. “Serenity and calmness” sounds pretty good.
For Jackson, this season will be the first where he’ll have a real opportunity to be a locker room leader. Last season, he was still adjusting to being Detroit’s primary playmaker. Before he joined the Pistons, he was a reserve for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, at 26 years old, he is an established player with more big-game experience than anyone else on the roster. This is the perfect time for him to take on more responsibility.
As for Detroit being “scary,” well, that remains to be seen. The pieces fit, though, and the bench has been strengthened. If the core players, led by Jackson and Andre Drummond, improve a little bit, then there’s no reason the Pistons can’t compete for home-court advantage in the playoffs.
Source: CBS Sports / Reggie Jackson says he’s ready to lead the ‘scary’ Pistons