Darnell Jackson has dealt with a lot to get here

Leave a comment

The Sacramento Bee wins the feature-of-the-day award with a very brief profile of Darnell Jackson, the former Cavalier brought into the Kings in the Jon Brockman trade. The opening pretty much sells you on wishing nothing but the best for Jackson:

Of all the tattoos on Darnell Jackson’s body, it’s one on his right wrist that speaks to the pain he has endured and his optimism.

It’s a simple phrase: “Suicide is not an option.”

The phrase is a reminder for Jackson who lost his mother to suicide last year in a painkiller overdose following a car crash that also cost him his grandmother. The same month, Cleveland decided to cut Jackson to make room for a returning Zydrunas Ilgauskas. I don’t believe in sports karma. But man alive, that’s a bad month.

Jackson’s fighting to make the squad in Sacramento, who keep losing big men to injury. For his part, Jackson has been nothing to write home about in his career, but also works hard, doesn’t complain, does what he’s asked. You know, basically, the anti-Joey-Dorsey.

Reading a profile like this makes you want to root for Jackson all the more. But then, when you think about it. Playing in the NBA is his dream, that’s for sure. But would it really do anything to ease the pain of what he’s gone through in the last year? Just as with yesterday’s discussion of Dwyane Wade, it’s easy to forget these guys are real, three-dimensional people and that scoring a bunch of point as an NBA player isn’t going to make losing your mother to suicide any easier. We act like this personal glory somehow compensates for what these guys have to go through, as if it makes them immune to the same kinds of hauntings we all have to live with.

And the fact is, it doesn’t.

Still, if you’re looking for a guy who’s had a rough run that you want to hope good things for? Maybe we shouldn’t aim for the guys with histories of clashing with coaches or struggling with injuries. Maybe it’s guys like Jackson we should really attach our bandwagons to.

Pelicans signing center Jerome Jordan

Marc Gasol, Jerome Jordan
Leave a comment

Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:

Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.

Kevin Love unsure about opening-night return

Kevin Love
Leave a comment

He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.

Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:

“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”

Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.

“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”

At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.