Bobby Jackson has been the unfortunate recipient of a few unlikely injuries during his 10-year NBA career, including an abdominal tear while with Sacramento. His most costly ailment in 2006-07 cracked ribs suffered in a Nov. 28 game vs. Toronto is a highly unusual injury rarely seen among basketball players. It led to his missing 26 games in his debut season with the Hornets.
In an effort to prepare for the upcoming season, Jackson added a new piece to his summer training regimen: yoga.
I took yoga for about three weeks, the 6-foot-1 combo guard explained. Its about flexibility and strength, and its designed to help strengthen your core muscles. I wanted to try something different.
Ive gotten injuries that people dont normally get in this sport. I dont know why. I think part of it is how hard I play. But Ill never switch my game up. The only way I would be upset is if I got hurt and WASNT playing hard.
Looking back on 2006-07, Jackson says he was content with his performance prior to the cracked ribs injury, but an extended absence affected his play during the second half of the season.
Jackson: After being out six or seven weeks, and not being able to run and practice, you lose your rhythm and pick up a couple pounds. I thought I had an alright season, but it couldve been better. I feel like if I have a healthy season, Im going to shoot the ball better and play better.
Periodically throughout the offseason, Byron Scott talked to Rasual Butler about what he expects from the reserve swingman this season. At the top of Scotts goals for Butler: Seeing the sixth-year NBA pro become a more consistent player from start to finish of the 82-game season.I was talking with Coach all summer, said Butler, whose up-and-down play last season led to reduced minutes and one DNP-coachs decision. Thats whats important for me, being consistent.
You guys havent seen my best basketball yet, he continued to reporters. I think this year will be my best year.
Butler said he expects to split time between shooting guard and small forward this season, as hes done throughout his NBA career. And after I bulk up a little bit, he joked, Ill be playing a little bit (at power forward), too.
The La Salle product also wants to be more aggressive in taking the ball to the basket, in order to earn more free-throw attempts, instead of relying exclusively on his perimeter touch. For me, one of the big things is getting to the basket and drawing contact so I can get to the foul line more, he said.
So how does an NBA player work on that during the offseason?You play against your friends and have them hit you when you go to the basket, Butler said, half-jokingly.
Chandler Discusses New Orleans, All-Star Game
A New Orleans television reporter was recently wondering how Tyson Chandlers adjustment to his new city was going. Chandler good-naturedly responded that hes already taken a liking to the Big Easy, but its never easy for a person who stands 7-foot-1 to blend in to his new surroundings no matter where he lives.
Well its kind of hard not to get noticed, Chandler said, laughing. I kind of stand out like a sore thumb. People recognize me from clear across the room, and it doesnt help that (when walking through a supermarket), Im taller than the aisle.
Byron Scott has told Chandler that he believes the player can eventually become an All-Star in the Western Conference, where Houstons Yao Ming is entrenched as a starter but players like Denvers Marcus Camby and Utahs Mehmet Okur are within reach.
I think this my year that I could step in and do that, Chandler said. Its the perfect time, with the game being played in New Orleans. It would be a great opportunity.