When the Oklahoma City Thunder visited the Celtics on Jan. 16, Kendrick Perkins‘ return to Boston was the talk of the town. But Perkins wasn’t the only player on the Thunder roster returning to the Hub that night. Oklahoma City rookie Reggie Jackson was also making his first appearance in Boston since suiting up for Boston College for the past three years.
While Boston College has been on the decline since Jackson’s departure (the Eagles are currently 7-11 overall and 2-2 in the ACC), the 6-3 guard’s career appears to be heading in the opposite direction. After being selected at No. 24 by Oklahoma City last June, Jackson is averaging 11 minutes per game for the 14-3 Thunder. With Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden ahead of him in the Oklahoma City rotation, it might take some time before Jackson sees the court with any regularity, but he has already demonstrated the ability to compete at the NBA level. In 23 minutes against the Spurs earlier this month, Jackson put up a career-high 11 points and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
“Jackson has the athletic ability and smarts to become a starting point guard in this league,” says an NBA scout. “He’s in a good situation to learn in Oklahoma City, as Harden shares the lead guard duties when they are on the floor with the second unit. Don’t be surprised to see him play well in meaningful minutes in the playoffs this spring.”
We caught up with Jackson before the Thunder’s 97-88 win over the Celtics to discuss his adjustment to the NBA, Call of Duty and sneakers.
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Dime: What did you think of the slow start that Boston College had this season?
Reggie Jackson: Young guys, new system, coach is still fairly knew. Last year, (Steve Donahue) inherited the program really. This is a fresh start for everybody. It was tough to watch. It was tough to know how they were struggling but you knew they were going to compete. At least one thing I know is they compete every night and they’re competing every day in practice and it shows.