With the 2015-16 NBA in full swing, teams are off to a clean slate in their journey to the Larry O’Brien gold. As hoop heads watch their favorite squads hit the hardwood night in and night out, a team with a bad boy legacy is starting to make some noise this season. When the Detroit Pistons brought in their prolific scorer and playmaker, Reggie Jackson, they knew that a promising new beginning was on the rise for the Motor City to revive their hopes of bringing the team back into serious contention in the Eastern Conference.
Though the point guard is making magic on the court with teammates like double-double machine, Andre Drummond, by his side, there’s something else that Jackson channels his ultra competitiveness into. That something would be Call Of Duty. It’s no secret that NBA players love to dab into the world of gaming (on and off the court). With the release of the new Call Of Duty: Black Ops III, Jackson took some time out of his busy NBA schedule to tell us what about the game draws him in and how he even gets his teammates involved in some COD action.
Check out Reggie Jackson’s one-on-one with VIBE as he spills the beans on his COD game plans, the friendly trash talk that happens between his teammates and what’s to come for Detroit Pistons basketball this season.
VIBE: As an avid fan of Call of Duty, what about the game draws you into it so much?
Reggie Jackson: I’m just testing free runs and figure out the range of motions that you have, that way you won’t have to kill people on there. So I’m definitely loving the new aspects to the game.
What are some of your best go-to strategies when you play Call of Duty?
I definitely use my brother as sacrificial Rambo. I always send him out there to kind of know where I’m at, you know, try to be random.
What is it about the new Call of Duty: Black Ops III that you think separates itself from the ones prior to it?
The ability to probably swim, running off of walls, along with being able to steel strikes and shoot. Just a lot of the underwater combat and being able to fight in the air now. Combining reality with being able to do special things in the game.
You’re an avid fan of COD, what sort of player would you consider yourself? What level would you rank yourself when you play?
I’m always up there at the top. In the game, I have to be the best so I definitely love being advanced. Being an advanced veteran pretty much all the time.
When you’re in the offseason, how much time would you say you spend regularly playing COD?
I probably end up playing around three hours a day.
That gets cut down during the season, right? Being that you’re more busy.
Yeah, because I have more scheduling, more games and traveling and everything. Offseason is just pretty much hanging out during the day, having fun playing games, and chilling.
The basic question that all gamers get asked, Xbox or PlayStation?
Your teammate, Andre Drummond, is also an avid fan of COD, so do you and your teammates band together to play or against each other in the online multiplayer mode?
We’ve got to play together. We’ve got to try to go out there and hold it down. You know awful teams get veteran players so you’ll probably hear it in the locker room before practice the next day here and there.
The competitiveness that you possess within the game of basketball transitions over when you play COD?
Oh yeah! You always want to be the best. I definitely do, I like to trash talk my teammates.
With the Pistons being off to hot start this season so far, what about being in Detroit gives you that refreshed feeling with a new start with a new team in a new city? Does that give you a sense of belonging?
Yeah, I got a little taste of it when I came here for about two months last year. I just love the new beginning and what we’re building here and just how welcoming the people are here. I just love it out here, my teammates and the whole organization.
You’re taking on a much larger role that you seemed more than ready for. How was the transition from role player to one of the leading men on the team been for you so far?
I’m just enjoying the change and getting the chance to be myself. I just try to lead by actions and how I am and just talking to my teammates and figure out the best solution for us to get a victory each and every night.
Let’s take it back to the physical grit and grind of the Bad Boys era with Isaiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, etc. Is that something that you hope to bring back to Detroit Pistons basketball? Or do you see you guys bringing something new to the table for Detroit?
We’re just trying to be ourselves. We’re very defensive-minded and that’s what triggered our success so far this season but we’re just trying to be ourselves and build our own identity instead of following. It’s easier. We do try to take some of that Bad Boys mentality into our identity but we’re just trying to be who we are.
With Stan Van Gundy leading the way this year, what are some things you can say you’ve learned from him while being under his guidance that has elevated your game?
I’m still young and have a way to go but he’s had me get more into film and studying the game a lot more than I had before. Now I’m getting to know the game and my opponents better. I really enjoy it because I think it’s helping all of us with our strengths.
What about being around your teammates gives Detroit that new revitalized feeling for basketball and gives the fans hope this season with all of you guys coming together?
I think this year being looked at as underdogs, being doubted and overlooked, we just come together and play our best each and every night and to the best of our abilities. Like I said, it’ll lead us to our success because we’re a young group of guys and I think that we can only get better. We’re a hungry group so once we give it our all, it’ll give the city something to be proud of.