Report: Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka ‘froze out’ Reggie Jackson
The Oklahoma City Thunder are going to have enough trouble winning without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The last thing they need is players refusing to share the ball with one another.
According to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman, Thunder big men Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka became so frustrated with point guard Reggie Jackson on Monday night that they refused to give him the ball in the second half. This came on a night when the Thunder lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Jackson scored 23 points after taking a whopping 20 shots.
Mayberry notes that Perkins and Ibaka intentionally passed the ball elsewhere when leading the break following defensive rebounds. Perkins admitted to freezing out Jackson and seemed apologetic.
“Just let the game come to you,” Perkins said this week. “But with myself and with Serge, we got to do a better job with our body language and leadership skills, because I didn’t like the way I acted in the Brooklyn game as far as my body language toward Reggie. But we know Reggie means well. We support him. He’s one of my good friends off the court. So it’s no harm in that.”
The freeze-out speaks to a larger issue with Jackson. The 24-year-old has made it known in the past that he wants to start somewhere in the NBA. He plays the same position as Westbrook, so that’s not going to happen in Oklahoma City when Westbrook is healthy.
Jackson will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He might look at Westbrook’s absence as an opportunity to showcase his skills, even if it means playing selfish basketball. Between Monday’s game against the Nets and Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors, Jackson shot 12-for-34 from the field and went 2-for-14 from beyond the arc. That’s not going to impress his teammates or other NBA teams.