While the Los Angeles Clippers have been gaining national recognition as of late, another Pacific Division team has been quietly surpassing expectations and is looking like a potential dark horse for the four-seed: the Golden State Warriors.
There are a number of developments that’ve led to the Warriors impressive season, but one of the keys has been the play of reserve guard Jarrett Jack. He’s averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 assists off the bench, with outstanding percentages (49.1 percent from the field, 43.6 percent on 3s, 86.7 percent on free throws) and an 18 PER.
After last night’s thrashing of the Boston Celtics, Ethan Sherwood Strauss — who writes for WarriorsWorld, Bleacher Report, HoopSpeak, and ESPN — asked Jack if his time and experience learning and playing with Chris Paul had something to do with the high level of basketball he’s been playing.
Before Strauss could elaborate, Jack cut him off and said:
Jarrett Jack on whether playing with CP3 helped him get to this level: “Nah, he ain’t got sh-t to do with it.”
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) December 30, 2012
The weird part isn’t the message, but the way it was delivered. Jack could have given a PG-level response stating that while Paul is a good point guard, Jack doesn’t feel that’s the reason why he’s been so successful.
Instead, Jack got very defensive and used profanity. He was angry at the notion that Paul could’ve had any impact on his career, bitter even. Ironically enough, Paul and Jack are supposed to be good friends. The two faced off in the ACC as college players, spent a year in New Orleans together (2010-2011 season), and are supposed to be pretty close.
(Side note: Jack has recorded his two highest PERs ever the past two seasons, both post-Paul. While that may have to do with his role and playing time more than anything, it does seem a bit odd that he’s played his best ball after spending a year with CP3.)
But it seems Jack harbors some animosity toward CP3, if only on the basketball court. He later apologized for being hostile and said “no knock” on Paul, but that may have been an attempt to cover up his initial, raw feelings on the matter.
Who knows, maybe it was a momentary lapse in judgement, or something that has secretly bothered Jack for a while. He seems like a tough player who’s worked to get where he’s at, and wouldn’t want people to mistakenly think that he’s been thriving because of a contemporary. We shouldn’t read into this too much, but it’s an interesting topic.
Either way, if the Clippers needed any extra bulletin material for their game against the Warriors next week, they have it now.