Reggie Jackson has been a revelation for the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs, posting averages of 17.8 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 48.7% from the field and 40.6% from 3-point range. Jackson was close to not even playing this season and even actually hanging up the sneakers for good, but his relationship with Paul George helped draw him back to the Clippers for 2020-21.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Jackson revealed just how close he was to retiring after the Clippers’ 3-1 collapse in the bubble:
“I was ready to leave. I was ready to give up,” Jackson says. “I thought I was going to retire because I just couldn’t get healthy.”
Injury issues wrecked Jackson’s time with the Detroit Pistons. He signed with the Clippers after getting bought out last season and had dreams of winning a title with George, a close friend, but instead, they went through that awful debacle against the Denver Nuggets.
Jackson wasn’t sure he wanted to keep playing, but he found that love for the game again while shooting at George’s house:
One day last summer, when Jackson was shooting on the court at George’s house, Jackson had a moment of clarity.
“He hadn’t picked up a basketball in months,” his brother says. “He was with the crew, and it just happened organically while they were out at P’s house hanging out.
“He took a couple shots and was like, ‘I think I love it.’ He took a couple more shots, and I could tell when I was talking to him, ‘Oh, that’s it, you’re ready.'”
Jackson ultimately decided to return to the Clippers, and he has found his way. Unfortunately, thanks to the Kawhi Leonard injury, LA is on the brink of elimination against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.
Jackson will have to step up in a big way in order for the Clippers to pull off a miracle comeback.