Memphis Grizzlies' wing Josh Jackson who is currently on assignment with the Memphis Hustle was suspended for missing a team meeting. This is just the latest development from a situation that in my opinion - has been a comedy of errors since it's inception.
The story was originally broken by Shams Charania of the Athletic with more details being provided by Chris Haynes of Yahoo. The Hustle are currently in Los Angeles after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers G-League affiliate, 111-92.
Being the creator and founder of the #FreeJoshJackson hashtag, I've had strong opinions on how the whole Josh Jackson situation has been handled from the very beginning. I, like many, have been aware of all the allegations concerning him - both publicized and rumored. I've never seen him as any type of savior for the team but simply said that the Grizzlies should have used their training camp as the best way to truly evaluate him.
With little to no information or details or specifics about what the Grizzlies action plan or expectations were for Jackson, the feeling of anxiousness began to swell amongst media and fans. This has increased lately as the Grizzlies started a 10-day road trip shorthanded in what many felt would've been the ideal situation to call up Jackson but instead, he remained with the Hustle.
Jackson's off the court reputation was obviously what led Grizz management to send him down to the G-League and it may ultimately be the reason that the Josh Jackson experiment fails. As a person that is a sucker for reclamation projects - especially ones that require the city of Memphis to work it's magic - I'm deeply bothered by how all of this has gone down.
In my opinion, he should have never been sent down to the Hustle. I have always felt that if the Grizzlies weren't interested in him or were concerned by what he might do off of the court, that they should have waived him. It bothered me that he wasn't allowed to get a look from another team going into camp, and was not allowed an on-court opportunity to show and prove on an NBA court against NBA competition during a contract year.
If Jackson was a part of the main roster and missed a team meeting he would be handled like any other player would be handled. He would be suspended, an action plan would be put in place and you would see him back on the court. It wouldn't be the final straw that denies him a chance to play in the NBA nor the chance for someone to say "See! I told you so!"
Jackson has all of the tools in the world and even though I've wanted him to be treated fairly and respectfully since this summer, I am not here to make excuses for him. Whether he let Los Angeles nightlife get the best of him Sunday night or he had a legit emergency, he agreed to the terms of his assignment and this misstep may very well serve as a fatal blow to his opportunity to become a part of the Grizzlies active roster.
No one knows what's next for Josh Jackson including one of his biggest supporters in myself, but it definitely lends to several questions being asked - why was he ever down there, when - if ever - will he finally just 'get it' and when will this whole thing come to a final resolution.