Many may have forgotten it already, but Jaren Jackson Jr. is still the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately for him, that couldn’t quite translate to the FIBA World Cup. By all accounts, the $27,102,202-earning man had a disappointing campaign, something that has led many to get bearish about his talent. However, during their sit down on Showtime Basketball, Celtics champions Tony Allen and Kevin Garnett chose to go against these narratives. Instead, they believe he will come out with a great season.
Jackson was meant to be one of Team USA’s shining lights. He was meant to be unleashed on both ends of the floor. However, the international stage proved to be too much for the big man. Throughout the tournament, he averaged just 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. Admittedly, by no means are those star-level numbers.
Despite Team USA’s disappointment, Kevin Garnett and Tony Allen believe Jaren Jackson Jr. will be great
Due to his many firearm-related violations, the Memphis Grizzlies’ offensive cornerstone, Ja Morant, has been suspended for the first 25 games of the upcoming season. This means that his teammates, especially Jaren Jackson Jr., will have to work harder to win matches this campaign.
To make it happen, ‘JJJ’ needs all the momentum he can get, making the Team USA campaign very ill-timed. Yet, Tony Allen and Kevin Garnett don’t seem to be worried whatsoever. They said the following about the Memphis big man during their recent sit-down.
Allen: “Going to be a good outgoing for him. Because he has been going through that (the disappointment). I went through that, I got criticized… Now it’s time to re-evaluate myself and go put in work this year. I think this year, coming up, I think he going to get a chance to be having more rebounds, be more defensive savvy, and just the response of the critics.
Garnett: “I look at it like this. He gon have a really good year! You know why I say that? Where can you go in the summer, and get that type of run? F**k how he played, because his rhythm (he is in rhythm). And he used to spotting up, being a bigger big. And then he helps a lot on the help side. (In comparison,) FIBA rules, you’re all over the place, zones, all that, right? But he’s in rhythm now!”
Elite defenders like @KevinGarnett5KG and @aa000G9 aren’t worried about Jaren Jackson.
The FIBA experience will only help him elevate.
Watch all episodes of #KGCertified on our YouTube. pic.twitter.com/nxh5ihO6eO
— SHOWTIME Basketball (@shobasketball) September 20, 2023
Admittedly, it is a bit hard to deny Garnett and Allen’s logic. For starters, they are NBA champions. They know exactly what is needed to succeed at the highest level. Additionally, their reasoning only makes sense.
Jackson Jr. is likely in the best shape of his life at the moment. And if the pieces fall just right, he will be just sick enough of failure to go ballistic next season. Being without Ja Morant for so much of the season, the Grizzlies will need it too.
Jackson stands in support of Ja Morant
At times, it has seemed like Ja Morant has made it a hobby to sabotage his own career. Worse, his mistakes are now costing his team as well, as they will be without their star for 25 games. Especially considering how competitive the West is this year, that is an especially long period of time.
In situations such as this one, it’s common to see rifts begin to develop between even the closest teammates. However, during his time on Podcast P, Jaren Jackson Jr. came out in staunch support of his ‘brother’. He said the following on the matter.
“You’re always gonna make mistakes growing up… And [Ja] is the most popular player at this age probably ever… No matter what I stand by my brother.”
It is likely that Grizzlies fans collectively breathed a massive sigh of relief upon seeing Jackson’s statement. However, the issue of Morant’s absence still remains.
How much will the loss of their superstar for such a long stretch affect Memphis next season?
The post “He Gon Have a Really Good Year!”: Ja Morant’s $27,102,202 Earning Teammate Gets 2008 Celtics Champion’s Backing After Subpar FIBA World Cup Outing appeared first on The SportsRush.