Donuts: 1-on-1 With Justin Jackson - 'We're Ready For 'New Norm'
Justin Jackson's busy NBA life is about to get busier, on the court and off. ... and the Dallas Mavericks rotational player says he and the rest of the team is "ready for the new norm.''
Our Q-and-A with Justin Jackson is ... Mavs Donuts:
DONUT 1: On the NBA’s 22-team plan to resume the 2019-2020 season: “I think it’s good that we are one of the major leagues that are kind of getting this thing back rolling again. I have all the confidence in the world that (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver and everybody involved will take everybody’s safety first.''
DONUT 2: On the expected "intensity'': "As far as the 22-team return-to-play (plan goes), I think it’ll be a cool deal. I think it’ll add some intensity, for sure, because it’ll basically be all teams that are in the (playoff) race. I think that’s really going to cause those eight games that we play before (the playoffs) to be – even though it’s a weird deal coming back and playing – I think it’s going to cause it to be pretty intense games.''
DONUT 3: On Mavs players being ready to get back to work: “Honestly, I think everybody’s kind of ready to get back to whatever the new norm might be for us. I think everybody’s just ready to be able to go into their facilities to work out, whether that’s just to work out to get back into the season, or just to work out in the offseason.''
DONUT 4: On the rush to the gym: "When they first told us we were open for voluntary workouts, everybody that was here in Dallas, I think everybody pretty much texted (trainer) Casey (Smith) and tried to make sure they had a time to get into the gym.
"It’s tough, because at first, and I’ll speak from my own perspective, at first, I didn’t even have a gym to go to. I didn’t have anywhere that I could go. Obviously I’ve got some stuff here at home to do as far as weights and stuff like that, but I didn’t have a basketball goal or anything, or any place to go to.
"So just having our facilities open, having that option now of gyms we can go to work out, I think everybody’s just ready to get back in the gym (full-time).”
DONUT 5: On the 'Crazy 8's'': “I think having those eight games before (the playoffs) are going to be key, because that’s basically like a preseason and a couple of other games before you really start getting into your rhythm and stuff like that. I think it’s going to be different, I think these regular-season games are going to be so important, but at the same time, people are going to have to get back into game-shape and get back into game-rhythm, all that sort of stuff. It is going to be a little different.''
DONUT 6: On the likely rust: "I don’t think it’s going to be the super-polished basketball that you see with four games left in the season, normally. But at the same time, all of us are competitors. We’ve been playing basketball our entire lives. I always joke, saying it’s just like riding a bike. All of these guys compete. All of these guys want to make it to the playoffs and make it even further. …
"I think there will be a lot of ups and downs to start the eight games, but I think it’ll be a very interesting and competitive deal.”
DONUT 7: On if there’s a chance Dwight Powell comes back from his injury, given the long layoff: “As far as Dwight goes, I think it’s the smartest for him to just take his time to come back from that kind of injury. As an individual, there’s no reason for him to try to force his way back, and don’t even think he could, honestly. … There’s more that he needs to do.”
DONUT 8: On Mavs overall health being a positive from this hiatus: “That is one thing that this (layoff) has helped a lot. Luka had all those nagging injuries, KP would sit out back-to-backs just for precautionary reasons. It gave everybody a lot of rest, so their bodies should be fresh going into this deal we’ve got going on. So, I think that’s going to be super-key, it’s going to be extremely important going into this whole thing.
"Now, everybody is healthy. So, now we have to go out there and do everything we can to prepare ourselves for those eight games and going into the playoffs. Like I said, it’ll be very interesting. It’ll be a fun experience.''
DONUT 9: On the social activism of the Mavs: “I think it was very good," said Jackson of the protest he attended in Dallas. "The one that me and a couple of other guys went to – including Mark (Cuban), Jalen (Brunson), and Dwight (Powell), I think Maxi (Kleber) went – that was put together extremely well. It wasn’t violent. People were allowed to get their emotions out, and I think it spoke on a lot of things and a lot of issues there are in this country."
DONUT 10: On what that social activism means to him personally: "I think the biggest thing we can do as individuals is to just love each other," said Jackson of how we can be better going forward. "Show that you care for the other person. For a person, not for their race, not for their religion, not for whatever might make them a little different than you. I think a lot of times, we go through life, and we interact with so many different people. And there’s so many stereotypes made. There’s so many things that cause people to have judgments on other people.
"Our biggest thing that we can do as individuals, is not look at that other person across from us as a white person, or a black person, or a Muslim, or a Christian, or whatever it might be, but rather just look at them as a human being."
See more on Jackson's thoughts on this issue here, as part of our exclusive visit. And read owner Mark Cuban's powerful "Conversation With A Son'' here.
DONUT 11: The Mavs Step Back Podcast: You can hear Justin in his own words in our podcast visit here. Click here for our Step Back episode detailing the return of the NBA and the Mavs - "Great Expectations'' - in general. We started this podcast just a year and a half ago and have already been fortunate enough to have some amazing Mavs guests, including owner Mark Cuban, general manager Donnie Nelson, 2011 champion Shawn Marion, Director of Player Personnel Tony Ronzone, Justin Jackson, former-Mav Dennis Smith Jr. and many, many more.
The longer we do this, the better-and-better it gets, and none of it would be possible without the continued support from our die-hard MFFL listeners. So, thank you all so much, and please continue to subscribe to the Mavs Step Back Podcast on all the major podcast platforms, and tell your friends!
DONUT 12: The Final Word: "I’m excited to see kind of how everything turns out. It’ll be definitely different than anything anybody’s ever done ... This has never happened – ever. So, to be a part of that is going to be an interesting thing.” - Justin Jackson.