Jarrett Jack won’t wow you with his athleticism, nor will he blow you away with a flashy crossover. His career numbers, which consist of 10 points, 4 dimes, and a couple of rebounds, aren’t anything out of the ordinary, either. The former Georgia Tech star is probably a better player than you realize, though… one who averaged nearly 16 points and 6 assists on 45% from the floor in 45 games last season. In each and every one of those contests he fought to keep his decimated Hornets squad afloat, and although only successful about 22% of the time, he never stopped battling until he was shut down for the season with some kind of injury… I can’t even remember what it was.
Despite the admirable fact that Jack played his heart out through a frustrating season (during which he was New Orleans’ best player), the Hornets sent him on his way to Golden State just a week or so ago. The return? Nothing but cap space and minutes for Austin Rivers.
For Jarrett Jack, the deal had to feel like more of the same. He’s an under appreciated ball player… one who had just seen a pretty remarkable statistical season swept under a carpet of ping pong balls. At this point, seven up-and-down seasons in, I think it’s fair to assume that the ever-noticeable chip on his shoulder can get no larger, and the way he’s taken his latest move in stride suggests just that.
“It’s basketball at the end of the day,” Jack recently told the Mercury News. “What is there not to be happy about? I get to do something I love.”
Not surprisingly, this isn’t all Jarrett had to tell the Mercury News. He went on to discuss his thoughts on everything from his new teammates to the Dwight Howard soap opera to Andrew Bogut’s “fiery Australian attitude” in the especially-candid interview, and since it’s always so refreshing to come across a little realness from one of these untouchable NBA characters, I’m going to share my favorite excerpts from the conversation with you. Again, this is all from the Mercury News, and I suggest that you click here and read the entire thing.
On whether or not this trade came as a surprise…
No. To be honest, when I saw they drafted Austin (Rivers) and they pretty much said they wanted him to play some point. Well, OK, you’ve got me, Greivis (Vasquez), Austin — it’s kind of like too many chefs in the kitchen.
On Kenyon Martin and the responsibilities of a good point guard…
Hell yeah. We’d have to keep the leash attached. But with guys like Kenyon, you gotta have the leash on, but you’ve got be like, ‘You know what, Kenyon, go ahead. Go knock the hell out of somebody. Coach I told him to do it. Don’t even worry about it.’ Or a guy like Kenyon, he does a lot of the dirty work, a lot of the stuff that doesn’t get noticed. Hard fouls. Loose balls. Playing one-on-one defense against a top post player. With a guy like that, I’ve got to call his number every now and again. I think that’s kind of what he gets frustrated with. He does all that and feels like the effort he gives is under appreciated at times. Also with guys like Kenyon, so fiery, so emotional — it might be elementary or whatever — but I think you’ve really got take the time to get to know them, understand their way of thinking. Some people may say, ‘Kenyon is crazy.’ Well find out why he’s crazy. You could be like, ‘OK, I think what you’re thinking is terrible. But at least I can see where you’re coming from.’ At least I can open the book and read it. I don’t want to just look at the cover. I think Kenyon is a guy who definitely could be useful here.
Kenyon will do some stuff that will make you say ‘I don’t want to spend time with him.’ But if you want to get him on board, you’ve got to go reach out to him. You can’t just leave him over there, because guys like him are already feel like an outcast. I played with a guy like Reggie Evans. Guys who probably aren’t going to do something to get you 20 points. But the thing he does, you’ve got to make sure they’re appreciated. Not saying you’ve got to go and wipe their nose all the time because they don’t want you to do that either. But you might want to call his number every now and again. And as a point guard, that’s the things you kind of got to do, you’ve got to know personalities and get familiar with everybody. That’s one thing I try to do, I try to build relationships with everybody and be able to kick it with anybody at any time.
On Dwight Howard being corny…
I’m not a fan of what is going on in today’s game with guys saying ‘I’m only going to go here.’ I think that’s kind of corny, to be honest. Look at this stuff that’s going on with Dwight (Howard). It’s crazy. C’mon, man. You’ve got a whole franchise in limbo. It’s kind of corny to me, all this team up.
On Brandon Rush…
Me and B-Rush, we played together in Indiana, a.ka. Terrence Howard I call him, a.k.a. Todd Day. … We’re real cool. I joke with him on that all the time. I tell him he’s too young to have a haircut like Steve Harvey. You’ve got a pick and you’re like 23. C’mon B-Rush. B-Rush is crazy.
On Andrew Bogut and “the Scott Skiles method…”
He’s got that fiery Australian attitude. You always need a frontline guy who can anchor the defense because they can see everything. They see everything and they’re able to communicate a lot of things, pick-and-rolls, screens, switches if necessary. … I think he’ll get (the frontline guys) on board and have them playing a certain type of basketball. He comes from the Scott Skiles method, if you will. I think it will be my job to get the perimeter to do the same.
On this coming season being a contract year…
You know what man, this whole contract thing … at the end of the day, you’re going to end up with more money than you had yesterday. That’s always been my goal, monetarily and as a player. Get better than you were yesterday.
And last but not least, this doozy of a line…
It’s not too many guys that play in the NBA that actually love basketball.
I pretty sure that’s the chip talking, but in all seriousness, compared to Jarrett Jack? Maybe there really aren’t that many players that actually love basketball.
I highly recommend that you follow Jarrett on Twitter @Jarrettjack03. He’s very entertaining, as you can see.
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