HomeWorld News“This is why they lost”: Fans still raging over Jaren Jackson Jr.’s underwhelming production at World Cup as he drops debut rap video – Sportskeeda
“This is why they lost”: Fans still raging over Jaren Jackson Jr.’s underwhelming production at World Cup as he drops debut rap video – Sportskeeda
September 17, 2023
Modified Sep 16, 2023 21:25 GMT
Jaren Jackson Jr. had an impressive 2022-23 season for the Memphis Grizzlies. The young big man established himself as one of the best defenders in the NBA while playing alongside hulking big man Steven Adams. As such, Jackson Jr. earned himself a spot on Team U.S.A. for the FIBA World Cup.
Following Team U.S.A.’s fourth-placed finish, you would expect a young player like Jackson Jr. to be licking his wounds. However, on September 16, the Memphis Grizzlies star dropped his debut rap video. This decision was unwise, as Jackson Jr. has received significant criticism since the video hit social media.
After struggling for Team U.S.A., Jackson Jr. will likely be looking to make a big impact for the Grizzlies in the upcoming season as they bid to contend for an NBA championship. However, he will be expected to face an uphill battle to win over the league’s broader fanbase following his disappointing performances for Team U.SA.
Jaren Jackson Jr.’s role was miscast on Team U.S.A.
Jaren thrives when playing next to a physically dominant big man. The presence of an additional big body allows the young Grizzlies star to play more aggressively on the perimeter. Team U.S.A. didn’t utilize Jackson Jr. in that manner.
Instead, Steve Kerr deployed a switch-everything system that allowed Jackson Jr. to continue defending the perimeter but didn’t give him the insurance policy that Adams offers when playing for Memphis. As such, Jackson Jr. struggled to re-create his performance level for the national team.
At times, Team U.S.A. switched to a “drop” defense, where Jackson Jr. was tasked with defending the rim. But, once again, that isn’t how the big man has thrived in the NBA, so it makes little sense to begin putting him in those positions during an international tournament with a gold medal on the line.
Still, Jackson Jr. wasn’t the only player who struggled in the tournament. Kerr looked to replicate the Golden State Warriors system rather than building something that suited the players he had at his disposal.
Jaren Jackson Jr. took responsibility for his performances at the FIBA World Cup
When speaking to the media following Team U.S.A.’s defeat to Canada, Jaren took accountability for his performances, accepting that he was a “liability” for his team.
“It’s tough, it happened like 12 hours ago,” Jackson said, “So, I was a liability, Defensive Player of the Year, that’s tough.”
The big man will now need to rebuild his confidence ahead of the new season, otherwise, the Grizzlies could find themselves getting off to a slow start.