Why not in Portland?
I first met Luke Jackson before the start of the 2006-07 season when I was back covering the New York Knicks. Jackson was in town with the Boston Celtics for a preseason game at Madison Square Garden and was still green with the club. He’d recently been dealt from the Cleveland Cavaliers that fall and you could tell then the constant nagging back pain he’d endured had taken its toll.
I mean that in a physical sense. I mean that in a mental sense. It’s easy what you can learn in the first 10 seconds of a conversation.
Jackson told me then that Cavs GM Danny Ferry took good care of him. Sent him somewhere Luke would settle in and make a home. At the end of our talk, Luke raved about the possibilities in Boston.
It took him time to warm up.
Boston waived him days later.
Who knows – I probably jinxed the guy chatting him up about his pot-hole filled NBA journey that led him to MSG. Jackson has bounced around a lot – about seven teams in four years. That’s never easy. For Luke’s sake, I hope I didn’t re-jinx him after we talked a couple days back about his time in Portland (thus far) and his thoughts on making the Blazers out of camp.
Here’s a quick excerpt from the story – Will Luke Jackson Stick In Portland? – that ran on HOOPSWORLD today:
“I try to just be a solid player and stay within myself. I try to not get too excited, but if someone told me I actually made the team I’d probably give them like a huge hug and lift them off the ground.”
Knowing Jackson is a native Oregonian who grew-up a die-hard Blazers fan….knowing he’s battled through injuries to get here….knowing he has something to prove….knowing he’s a good guy….knowing he can still play….knowing he can fill a need for Portland….knowing he fits the Blazers “culture”….it’s hard not to pull for Jackson at a time like this.
The old sportswriting cliché holds true: You don’t root for a team. You root for a story.
Luke Jackson’s story is easy to root for.
pic via: slamdunkcentral.com