Vegas Day 6 notebook: Jackson’s homecourt edge
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and observations from the desert, on a practice day for the New Orleans Pelicans (1-0), who face the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of NBA Summer League on Sunday at 7:30 Central:
• A Las Vegas native, point guard Pierre Jackson spoke earlier this week about how excited he was to eventually play a summer league game in front of his family and friends. That will happen Sunday, but Jackson’s weekend began with an interesting twist of fate that almost seemed hard to believe. On Saturday morning, Jackson’s first NBA practice with the Pelicans was held at his own high school, Desert Pines, where his No. 5 jersey is retired. “That’s pretty cool, man,” Jackson said of debuting in his HS gym. “I haven’t been in here in a while, since they retired my number (last fall).” The school actually has not displayed the retired uniform in its basketball gym yet, but Jackson said that doesn’t bother him. “They had the ceremony – that’s all I needed,” he said. “It’s going to be up there sooner or later.”
• There are plenty of reasons to tune in to Sunday’s game on NBA.com, starting with the first game action for Jackson and fellow Pelicans rookie Jeff Withey. “We’ve got a couple kids who spent four years in college,” Pelicans summer head coach Bryan Gates said. “We’re excited to see what we have, especially in a competitive atmosphere.”
• Gates on Jackson: “He’s a quick point guard. He uses his quickness on both ends.” Gates on Withey: “I saw him at the pre-draft workouts. He’s very big, but you get him out here at practice and he’s jumping all over the place. I didn’t know he was that athletic. It was a very pleasant surprise.”
• One programming note: NBA TV is not broadcasting Sunday’s game vs. Milwaukee, but a replay of Pelicans-Bucks will air Monday at 11 a.m. Central. Six hours later on the same day, NBA TV is carrying a live broadcast of Pelicans vs. Cavaliers at 5 p.m. Central. After New Orleans plays its third pool-play game, it won’t play a game again until Wednesday at the earliest.
• Many fans commented on Twitter that Anthony Davis appeared to be very vocal on the bench during Friday's game. Davis has been extremely active with Pelicans summer-leaguers this week, including giving them brief talks at the end of practices, telling them to focus and be prepared to play. At just 20, he already appears to be embracing his role as a leader.