Tomorrow, Phoenix Suns small forward, Josh Jackson will represent the team at the NBA’s draft lottery in Chicago, Illinois.
Jackson won’t be alone. He’ll be joined by a good luck charm and lifetime Suns fan in 9-year-old Jazmyne Weber. Weber was diagnosed with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly.
An El Mirage, Ariz., native, Weber is an aspiring wheelchair basketball player and was diagnosed with spina bifida while still in the womb.
Jackson is excited to rep the team and have Jazmyne with him. She’s really excited about it,” Josh Jackson told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“Going there is an amazing honor. I’m glad to go and represent us and do it the best I can. And hopefully I can bring us the pick we need.”
As per Brightsideofthesun.com, the Phoenix Suns have only been eligible for the first overall pick 15 times during the lottery era. The Suns have moved up twice (1986, 1987) and fallen four times (1988, 1999, 2013, 2017), but have never received the number one selection. This is also the first time that the Suns will actually have the best odds to win the #1 pick.
Today, the Suns formally announced the signing of their new head coach, Igor Kokoškov at an introductory press conference at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Kokoškov will be the first head coach born and raised outside of North America in NBA history. No stranger to the NBA game, he previously spent 18 years in the league as an assistant coach, with his most recent tenure there being with the Utah Jazz. “Every guy that I’ve talked to in the NBA, overseas, European guys who know about him; I’ve heard nothing but great things,” said Josh Jackson.
“He’s a really smart coach. He’s great at drawing up plays out of timeouts and I think he’s got a lot of experience and that’s something that we definitely need, so I’m excited.”
With a newly minted coach and a high draft pick coming to Phoenix next month, Jackson said he plans to work on his game this offseason.“Definitely my shot,” he said.
“And I want to work on my body this summer. I felt like there were a lot of times this year where I was playing against stronger guys and I felt like they got the best of me just because they were stronger than me in that simple fact. Now I want to get a little bit bigger, gain a little more weight, and I think that’ll really help me going into next season.”
The 4th pick by the Suns in last year’s draft, Jackson averaged 13 points and a shade under 5 rebounds for a Suns team that finished this past season at 21-61; 15th place in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Jackson says he’s watched fellow 2017 NBA draftees like Utah Jazz guard, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum go deep in this years NBA Playoffs and he’s taking note.
“Hopefully we can win more games next season and we’re shooting for the playoffs next year,” he said.
“So, I know what I’m capable of. I’m pretty confident in myself and I think if I was in those guys’ positions I would be doing just as good, if not better.”