Report: Reggie Jackson Sat Out a Game Because the Thunder Hadn’t Traded Him

by February 20, 2015
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No tears were shed in the OKC Thunder locker room Thursday after Reggie Jackson had been dealt to the Detroit Pistons. Jackson, of course, was thrilled to be gone.

With tension mounting between Jackson and his teammates — most notably, superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook — the Thunder had no choice but to get rid of the budding 24-year old guard.

According to ESPN, a healthy Jackson refused to play earlier this season due to being frustrated at still being a member of the Thunder:

On the surface, it seems as though the trade request Jackson’s agent made on Wednesday was what frayed his relationship with Durant and some teammates. But his standing with teammates, primarily the leaders of the locker room, had been deteriorating throughout the season. The request simply hammered home what everyone in the organization knew since October: Reggie Jackson didn’t want to be there.

 

Jackson said as much, stating publicly in training camp that he wanted to be a starter. He doubled down in November while filling in for the injured Russell Westbrook, saying, “I’m just trying to fill my role while I’m here.”

 

Two days before the Thunder’s season opener in Portland, Jackson sprained his ankle and missed the team’s first two games. In their third game, the Nov. 1 home opener against the Nuggets, Jackson was cleared to play, but according to a source, refused to because of disappointment that he wasn’t traded before the Oct. 31 extension deadline for first-round picks entering their fourth season, like (James) Harden before him. Jackson spoke at shootaround that morning, coyly saying he probably wouldn’t play that night. Immediately after finishing his session, he grabbed a ball and threw down an impressive drop-step windmill dunk — in front of reporters and his teammates. Remember: This was when the Thunder were piecing together a roster without Durant and Westbrook, and only had eight active players available. […] Jackson made his season debut the following game in Brooklyn, and teammates — notably Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka — were visibly frustrated with him, even appearing to freeze him out at times.