Jackson Embraces Leadership Role for Summer League

by Cody Cunningham

Josh Jackson has made changes both physically and mentally in preparation for this year’s Summer League. While the new haircut may be what stands out at first sight, his mindset might be the bigger deal.

“I think that should be every second-year player’s plan to come out and show that they got better,” Jackson said. “I thought I did alright in Summer League last year, but obviously I want to come out and blow my last performance out of the water.”

Not only is Jackson hoping to shine himself, but he is also embracing the opportunity to become a leader for the young Suns.

“I come in here and I feel I know a lot more. I’m more experienced,” Jackson said. “Just coming out here and feeling like a leader a little bit. It’s really helping my confidence and just showing me I can get guys to follow me a little bit. That’s going to help me push my career forward.”

Deandre Ayton has already noticed Jackson take on his new role and has credited him for his help during Summer League mini-camp.

“He’s been helping me a lot with a lot of terminology, a lot of things with the plays especially on the defensive end,” Ayton said. “Just a lot of teaching processes he’s been telling me. He’ll just pull me over to the side.”

Jackson has stated that he had wanted to be a leader since he first came in the league, but knew it would take sometime to develop into that role. Summer League gives him the perfect opportunity to showcase what he has learned throughout his full year in the NBA. 

“Before I was kind of scared of taking that role because I felt I would be looking up to a lot of other guys,” Jackson said. “Whether it’s by example or just by talking, communication. I’m just trying to come out and lead my teammates.”

Jackson and the Summer Suns will take the court on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks in Las Vegas. Catch the action on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. or listen in to Arizona Sports as they will be broadcasting the game on ESPN 620 AM.