HoopsHype.com Interviews

Bobby Jackson: "Kryptonite against Shaq is a team thing"
by Jon Finkel / June 1, 2002

Shaq considers himself to be Superman, but so far you guys have been able to stop him or at least contain him for most of the series -- although not in Game 6. What is the Kings' formula for Kryptonite?

Bobby Jackson: Everybody coming to play defense is our Kryptonite against him. It's a team thing. Sometimes it takes all of us doing little things to keep his numbers down.

So, outside of stopping Superman, what kind of powers do you guys use to combat the Lakers as a team?

BJ: We just continue to be aggressive and attack them on both ends of the floor. We make them work hard offensively and defensively.

You just want to disrupt their game however you can.

Yeah, our goal is to make sure nothing comes easy for them.

What do you think the key to doing that is?

BJ: The main thing is to dominate on the offensive rebounds. Make sure they don't get the ball until after we score.

Let's get to you personally. In the two NBA conference finals, Shaq's got the Superman tattoo and Tony Battie on the Celtics has Batman. What super hero would you tattoo on your arm to describe how you play?

BJ: I don't know... That's a good question (laughing). I'd be somebody quick.

Flash is quick.

BJ: He's fast too, right?

Yup. He's the fastest one of all of them.

BJ: Then I'd have to say if I got one maybe it'd be him.

Not a bad choice. Back to basketball. Last year in the playoffs you averaged about 23 minutes a game and this year you're averaging about the same. But your scoring average has jumped from 7 ppg last postseason to over 12 ppg against the Lakers this postseason. What do you attribute that to?

BJ: Just a lot of hard work. Working on my game in the offseason and during the season. Also, my teammates having confidence in me allows me to be able to go out there and play my game. I can be aggressive and approach each game as if it is the last 'do or die' game for me and my team.

You were the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year your senior season at Minnesota. How has defense helped your game in the playoffs?

BJ: I've always been a great defensive player. It's a part of my game I can rely on when my offense isn't going.

Since you brought up offense. How has working with assistant coach Pete Carril helped you out in the postseason against the Lakers?

BJ: Pete has really had me improve my shot and turned me into a better three point shooter than I was. I can hit the open three if the Lakers D gives it to me.

It’s in the numbers. You hit only 4 threes in all of the playoffs last year. You’ve got 5 against the Lakers alone this postseason.

BJ: Yeah, see, working hard with a coach like Pete pays off. Getting all of the knowledge from him and using it to better my skills has really helped my game a lot and it’s carried into the playoffs.

One last question. The National Spelling Bee Competition for 10-14 year olds was a few days ago. Whose name do you think the kids would have a harder time spelling: Stojakovic or Turkoglu?

BJ: I'd have to go with Stojakovic.

Great. Thanks for your time and good luck.

Jon Finkel is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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