GG Jackson issues honest take on rookie season with Grizzlies

Milwaukee Bucks v Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Though they've fallen tremendously short of preseason expectations, where they were tabbed as a legitimate title contender coming in, 2023-24 has still proven to be quite an inspiring season for the Memphis Grizzlies in many ways.

Easily one of the biggest positives to come out of this year's campaign has been the arrival of diamond in the rough talent GG Jackson, who was selected 45 overall this past draft.

Despite being a five-star recruit while simultaneously being viewed as the consensus best collegiate prospect just two short years ago, the 19-year-old's progression throughout his rookie campaign has been one that's caught the attention of both fans and league legends alike, and, during a recent sit down with Grind City Media's Kelcey Wright Johnson, he acknowledged that his perseverance throughout a challenging training camp led him to this point.

GG Jackson drops honest take on growth with the Memphis Grizzlies

"Just not giving up. When training camp started, and even before that when we were having open runs in the summer, literally every day I was going back home crying. It was so bad. I never felt like I was bad at basketball before... I was like, the gap between me and these dudes is like crazy. But I stuck with it. I had to grind it out. I had to understand that, yeah, you're young, but you're here for a reason. That just kept pushing me. Like I've never shot the ball as well as I'm shooting it right now. And from the film it looks like I belong out there."

GG Jackson

After nearly three months of revolving in and out of the G League, Jackson finally came across a consistent level of playing time with the varsity team in early January due to a slew of injuries to core players.

From January 13 on, the rookie has proven himself to be a legitimate draft steal in the making, as he has found himself posting stellar averages of 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and just shy of a block while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from distance over a 17 game span.

With his production, not only has he become a player rival teams wish they nabbed in the 2023 NBA Draft, but, also, a player the Grizzlies view as a possible long-term organizational building block, as they converted his original two-way contract into a full-scale, multi-year pact back in early February.

Jackson's rookie season is a clear reminder that with hard work and dedication, one can achieve virtually anything they set their minds to. With his never-quit attitude, mentality, and on-court excellence, the rookie has made it abundantly clear that he belongs in this league.

Fortunately, the Grizzlies are reaping the benefits of such a finding.