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Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns goes to the basket against the Orlando Magic on Nov. 30 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images
Josh Jackson Diary

Suns’ Josh Jackson diary: When life hands you lemons

Forced to find a new home and dealing with losses, Jackson is keeping things in perspective

The pressure of living up to the hype of being the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. The roller-coaster ride of being a rookie in the NBA. The challenge of already having three head coaches in his young career.

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, who opted for his first haircut in four years this past offseason, is ready for a fresh start, hopeful he can help the Suns emerge from the dark clouds alongside budding star Devin Booker, 2018 No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton and new coach Igor Kokoskov.

In collaboration with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, Jackson will be giving readers an exclusive look into his sophomore season in his own words. The 22-year-old from Detroit isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind. He once trash-talked with Hall of Famer Gary Payton while playing for a prep school in Napa, California, of all places.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t know me,” Jackson says. “That is part of the reason that I’m doing this diary.”

The following is Part IV.

about the suns’ struggles …

I’ve dealt with a lot over this last year, not winning as many games as we thought we should have. Just all the changes, constantly. It’s something that I am trying to get adjusted to, but there are certain things you can’t control. That is one of the things my (late) dad always told me: ‘Just worry about the things you can control.’

That is one of the things I am doing. I am working on my game and trying to make my teammates better. At the end of the day, that is all I can really do. I am going to come in and work as hard as I can. Don’t ever back down from nobody. The results are the results.

Reading definitely helps. Talking to people that you are close with. Vets around the league know my situation. I always got people in my ear encouraging me. Draymond Green. Trevor [Ariza]. I don’t know if you’d call Andrew Wiggins a vet, but he is one of the people who talks to me a lot. JaVale McGee.

Draymond’s known me since I was in sixth grade. I’ve literally been the same guy on the court and off the court. He knows how tough I am. How bad I want to win. He just tells me to come out and be me. He is the same tough kid that I met in Detroit. He tells me everything is going to work for me.

I am not too concerned about Devin [Booker’s hamstring injury]. He may miss a few games. But I know we will have him back soon or by next game. I know him. He loves to play and hates to sit and watch. I just want him to be 100 percent and be able to play to his best ability.

About his new place …

(Editor’s note: Jackson had flooding in his Phoenix-area home during the preseason and had to find a new home.)

It definitely wasn’t easy trying to find a new place. I wanted somewhere that really was going to feel like home. I had to have that home feeling right when I walk in. I went to seven different houses between games, practice and traveling.

When I finally did find a place, it was one that I loved. It has a nice view. The next step: to get all the stuff from my old house to my new house. I had a lot of help with that from my aunt and the movers. They did a lot of work on our last road trip when we went to Philly, Milwaukee and Detroit. But now I am all moved in. It’s home. I’m comfortable.

I had a lot of shoes and had to make sure they were set in the boxes in a way where they wouldn’t scuff up or get crushed, because I care about my shoes a lot. I probably have about 300 pairs of shoes. But not all tennis shoes. Dress shoes, walk-around shoes, loafers, flip-flops. I don’t think I have enough space, to be honest. I have so many shoes. I still have the Jordan 1s, the first ones, black, red and white ones. Those are the originals. I keep those in pretty good shape, and I don’t wear them. I don’t think I will get rid of them anytime soon.

I got these [Under Armour] Curry 5s I’ve been waiting to break out with crazy colorways: bronze, black and white. I haven’t worn them once — I am so scared to mess them up. I don’t even know if I even want to play in them this year.

about his hoodie …

Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns arrives to the arena before a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

This is just a hoodie I saw in Switzerland. I went to the mall and was looking around, and it just spoke to me. A hoodie that just says ‘Peace is the Message.’ I was thinking, That is a cool message. I bought three of them. White, brown and pink. To me it means to try to make the best out of every situation, try to do good.

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.