The Grizzlies defeated the Warriors 116-107 Monday night, at the heels of rookie G.G. Jackson’s 23-point breakout performance. Following the game, on “The Draymond Green Show,” Green shed some light onto a background story regarding Jackson, the youngest player in the NBA, and why he may have been playing with extra motivation against the Warriors.
“G.G. Jackson, he shot the ball like he was Klay Thompson. He was catching like no hesitation, raising up,” Green narrated. “He waited for Steph at the half-court line. He said, man, I got uninvited from your camp.”
To clarify, the Stephen Curry UA Basketball Camp invites 26 boys and girls from all over the country to receive face-to-face training sessions from Curry along with prestigious coaches and trainers.
“But Steph’s like, oh, like I remember that. Like we were filled on spots. And so they had to like pull some invites back. It caught me a bit off guard. After the game, I learned that it was very personal for G.G.”
The intriguing revenge storyline of Jackson’s impressive outing has a redemption undertone, considering, the 19-year-old went from being uninvited from Curry’s camp to then shooting 5-for-8 from the three-point line against the NBA’s all-time leader in career three-pointers made. That is to say, Green referenced that actually the turntables have turned, as Curry in fact gave Jackson a new invitation to attend his camp next year, however, this time not as a player but as a counselor.
Following the game, there was also a special moment shared during the TNT broadcast post-game interview, as Jackson was in shock when he initially heard NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s voice through the headset. “GG, Shaq here. I don’t have a question. I just want to say congratulations, young fella.”
Jackson started smiling from ear to ear while listening, “You played a hell of a game, and if people didn’t know who you were, they know who you are now,” O’Neal said. “I’m so proud of you. Congratulations on being ready, brother.” Upon hearing the kind words, Jackson humbly responded, “Well, sir, it’s an honor to get to hear your voice.”
Jackson, the 45th pick in the 2023 NBA draft, may continue to see increased minutes, as the Grizzlies are playing shorthanded at the moment, with guards Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Marcus Smart all out with injuries for an extended period. With this in mind, the rookie has taken full advantage of the opportunity so far, as he scored 23 points, and six rebounds, to go along with two blocks and two steals in 29 minutes vs. the Warriors. Not to mention, he was actually already coming off of a career-high scoring game two days prior, when he scored 20 points (9-of-14 shooting) in 27 minutes Saturday night vs. the Knicks. To point out, before his last two performances, Jackson only appeared in six games this season with an average of five minutes of playing time per game.
Given this, a few more impressive consecutive outings, and we may see a Linsanity-esque story unfold, of a relatively unknown player given an opportunity to step up and showcase his potential. The Grizzlies are hopeful that Jackson can continue to develop his scoring ability, as he has shown glimpses into a bright future, while starting his NBA career.
The Grizzlies have a 15-25 record and are currently the 13th seed in the Western Conference, while the Warriors have been backsliding as of late and are the 12th seed with an 18-22 record.