Sixers Pierre Jackson Beats The Odds


Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard

Pierre Jackson

(55) congratulates teammates after a time out is called during an NBA Summer League game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Pierre Jackson Beats The Odds


Back in my youth, it was what we pursued.   “Go for the gusto!” was a popular marketing slogan.   The meaning of the word is enthusiasm, delight, relish, zest, spirit, fervor. It historical meaning also included artistic style. The 2015 meaning of the word should be Pierre “Pappy Jack” Jackson. He’s worked hard to be noticed, to get the attention of the NBA, and the 76ers. He’s had to face adversity – first in the fact that he is 5’10” and 180 pounds, which is quite average on the streets of Philadelphia. But on the basketball court, he’s smaller than most. Therefore, his hustle and ball skill must be far superior. Secondly, he has to overcome a disastrous moment in the Orlando summer league where he ruptured his Achilles heel.

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The Achilles Tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon of the body, and is unfortunately a familiar injury in basketball. Achilles tendon ruptures can be devastating for the basketball player because the power of the foot for jump shots and explosive push off is from the calf muscles via the Achilles Tendon. That recovery was an eight month process, and to a young man hoping to get the attention of a team, the support cast oftentimes is one – yourself. In a recent interview, Jackson discussed that road back. Where other players focus might have fallen short, the interview is inspiring. You can almost feel the drive and dedication of the young man as he talks about playing in front of the fans.

And so, for a young man, all he had was faith, hope, and the commitment of the Philadelphia 76ers. But for a resourceful dedicated athlete, that can be more than enough. He held onto the Sixers rehab regiment. He stayed in touch with the Sixers and the fans.

And so, in the 2015 summer league, the 76ers upheld their end of the informal agreement, and signed the young man to a four year deal.  Jackson’s signing is a popular one, in that not only it at a position of need, but the young man has resonated with the Sixers fanbase at a level unseen since perhaps even Allen Iverson. Much is being said about the Sixer’s need for a shooting guard, a guy who can drop the ball from three-pointerville.  But what is less discussed is a hustler, a general on the court who commands the cast of youthful athletes with a cadence and exemplary hustle that keeps everyone focused on the play.  “Pappy Jack”.

Jackson is a hustler on the court. But off the court? He’s just a guy with a dream. He sweats, he struggles, he endures. The road was long that led to his signing with the Sixers.

"“That’s all I thought about. Once I got home, I hugged my mom, I hugged my grandma. They were crying and stuff like that. So it’s a big deal for my family. Not too many people out of Vegas make it to the NBA or get drafted or anything. I was able to do a lot of things. This is just the beginning.” -Pierre Jackson discussing the emotions of finally getting an NBA contract"

It was his youtube series of his recovery, entitled #THEYSLEEP : The Road To Recovery | Ep.6 #PappyJackIsBack where fans had the opportunity to connect with the player in the midst of his work to return to NBA ready.

Work hard.  Gusto.

With the summer signing, Jackson joins Tony Wroten, Isaiah Canaan, and T.J. McConnell at the very prominent point guard position. Coming off an injury, and joining established teammates, what gives Pappy Jack confidence?

"“I never stop working. That’s been obvious throughout my basketball career since college. Obviously, you want to support your family and I want to continue to do that while playing in the NBA. It’s going to be fun. I think we’re going to be real versatile and switch it up. I can score, I can pass and we will be able to play off each other.”"

Enthusiasm. Vigor. Unbridled optimism.

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Sometimes a team needs a spark. I’ve discussed the chance that Jahlil Okafor could be the catalyst that puts the team onto a winning track.  But it may be somebody else.

I have days when I struggle to get out of bed, when I find  a bad day at work waiting for me, a day when I hear too many “you can’t do that” responses, a day when the coffee cup doesn’t arrive quickly enough before the phone rings and I’m ears deep in a deadline and office emergency.   On that day, I click the page of Pierre Jackson to read “People said I wouldn’t last a semester in junior college.  They said I wouldn’t get a scholarship to a D1 college.  They said I wasn’t going to the NBA…But I heard my name called on Thursday Night”.

If you want to build a team, a real team, a true epic dynasty type of team, THIS is the caliber of player you need.  Sam Hinkie is building such a team.  So it is only logical that Pappy Jack is on-board.  If you want wins, you sign first round talent.  But if you want an NBA championship dynasty with gusto?

Pappy Jack is our man.  Follow him on twitter at @PAPPYGAWD  and give him our love.   He’s earned it.

Next: Statistical answer to what went wrong in 2014