It’s no secret that Reggie Jackson was unhappy in his role with the Thunder, especially once the late-October deadline to trade him while he could still receive a large contract extension (like James Harden did before him) had passed.
Since then, he was on the record as saying he’d pursue a starters’ role with another team next season, and evidently did some things that rubbed the rest of his teammates the wrong way.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant both verbally slapped Jackson on the way out the door, with Westbrook saying that OKC can win a title with or without him, and Durant saying that everyone on the team wanted to be there except Jackson.
There are two sides to every story, however, and Jackson told his to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
“I wasn’t always perfect, nor was the situation, but I became the brunt of the blame there,” Jackson said. “Everything bad that happened, I was the scapegoat. I’m taking all this blame, and I’m wondering: ‘How am I supposed to change it all here, make an impact, in eight minutes a game?’ Everybody is jumping down my neck, and it gets annoying when I’m supposed to have this great impact playing so little this season.
“All of a sudden, I’m the bad locker room guy. I’m the problem…” …
“The whole time, I was honest,” he said. “I wanted to start. And then, I became the problem in the locker room to people who have never been in our locker room. …I mean, come on.”
Nothing wrong with “wanting to start,” but playing behind Westbrook, that was never going to happen.
What’s interesting, though, is the way both Jackson and Goran Dragic were labeled as selfish by their former teams once they were gone, essentially for simply being forthright about the fact that they weren’t exactly in an ideal situation.