Lakers Draft Workout: Josh Jackson
The Lakers continued to prepare for the NBA Draft by bringing in one of the top prospects, Kansas forward Josh Jackson, into the team’s headquarters for a workout on Tuesday.
Afterward, Jackson spoke to the assembled media on auditioning for the Lakers twice, playing multiple positions and more.
Q: On the differences between this workout and the one he did for the Lakers last week:
Jackson: Today I just felt like I was a little bit more in shape. Other than that, I really don’t feel like there was much more of a difference. It’s good to come out here and just show what I can do to the organization. I feel happy with my performance today.
Q: On what he showed the Lakers with his workout:
Jackson: Just that I’ve been improving on a few of my weaknesses. [There are] a lot of things people know I can do. I’m athletic, long, lanky — but I’m just trying to show that I’ve improved since the end of the season at Kansas.
Q: On the focus of the workout:
Jackson: The focus was just to see if I was in shape, I think. Just shooting and, like I said before, to see if I’ve been improving on my weaknesses, like ball handling a little bit, shooting. And I think I did pretty good.
Q: On how he felt when the Lakers said they wanted to work him out again:
Jackson: I was excited. I was all for it. Of course, I’m not gonna tell them no. It was just an honor to be here today. I just want to thank the whole organization for having me.
Q: On the differences between his two workouts with the Lakers:
Jackson: The one up in Sacramento I was training with my trainer a little bit, so I was doing a few things I was used to doing and I was kind of in my comfort zone back then. But today I kind of got out of my comfort zone a little bit working out with their training staff. I thought both went pretty good.
Q: On if he thought that he impressed the Lakers by adapting to the second workout:
Jackson: I don’t know if they were impressed or not, but hopefully they were.
Q: On which positions he can guard defensively:
Jackson: With the way the game is going today, I think I can guard one through four. But back then probably 10 years ago, your four-man probably would have been 6’10” or something like that, so probably not. But the way the game is changing so much today, versatility is pretty important and I think I bring a lot to the table, especially being to switch on any position except the five.
Q: On which positions he can play offensively:
Jackson: I think I can play pretty much one through four for an NBA team. Playing the four at Kansas really helped me out a lot. I wasn’t too excited about playing the four coming into Kansas, but we caused a lot of mismatch problems, and I think it really bettered me as a player.
Q: On how playing out of position at Kansas affected him:
Jackson: It just made me more versatile and prepared me to be able to play multiple positions in today’s NBA and also to guard multiple positions.
Q: On if he thinks he can play power forward as a rookie:
Jackson: I think I’ll have to develop into that a little more; get a little stronger, put on a little more weight. But it’s definitely something I can develop into.
Q: On his strengths and weaknesses:
Jackson: My strengths: quick, versatile, athletic, a great passer. Weaknesses: probably ball handling a little bit and probably still my shooting stroke. But both of those are coming along.
Q: On working out in front of Magic Johnson:
Jackson: It’s an honor just having such a legend here and watching me and kind of mentoring me a little bit and giving me advice. I’m just glad to be here in front of him and hopefully I impressed him.
Q: On being one of the only non-point guards projected toward the top of the draft:
Jackson: It feels good. The point guards in this draft are really, really, really good and are special. But I don’t think you can really look past anybody in this draft — point guard or forward, it doesn’t matter. I think this is a really good draft class and probably one of the best ones I’ve seen in the past couple years.
Q: On what took him out of his comfort zone in this workout:
Jackson: Like I said, when I was in Sac I was working out with my trainer. I work out with him every day and I’m comfortable with him and know what he wants me to do. We’ve got the same terminology. We’re familiar with each other. Coming out here, I gotta learn a little bit more of their terminology and things they like to do. They put me in a few instances where I would probably be in their offense. Like I said, hopefully I impressed them.
Q: On if he felt that being asked to work out a second time might mean his chances of being drafted by the Lakers improved:
Jackson: It was definitely more of a: come in, try to impress them and hopefully I impressed them enough. But they can’t look past any guy in this draft because we’re all really, really talented, and I think we all bring a lot to the table.
Q: On potentially playing alongside Brandon Ingram, who also plays small forward:
Jackson: The NBA is changing so much. You look at two of the best teams in the league: Cavs and Warriors. At the end of the game when it’s winning time, there is no five-man on the court; there is no four-man on the court. There’s pretty much forwards and guards all playing at the same time. So I don’t really think me and Brandon being the same position would cause any problems. I think it would be really special, honestly.
Q: On if he is taking an anger management course:
Jackson: There is some truth to that. I have been taking an anger management course. I’m just about wrapping it up right now. It was just something I had to do and I learned from the mistake that I made. I’m making it through it.
Q: On what he learned from the course:
Jackson: One of the biggest things I got out of it was just to worry about the things that I can control and not to worry about the things that I can’t. It sounds so simple, but I went home and I thought about that a lot. It made a huge amount of sense to me, because there’s a lot of things in this world that we can’t control, yet [they] frustrate us. But you just can’t worry about them too much.
Q: On his former coaches commending his ability to flip his game to the next level:
Jackson: Just my will to win. Growing up I’ve always hated losing and loved winning. I’m just one of the guys who’s gonna do whatever I have to to help my team to win. Whether that’s playing defense, diving on the floor for loose balls, rebounding or scoring — whatever I have to do to win, I’m gonna do it.