Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images
It was a pretty easy assumption to make: When Eric Maynor returned from his knee injury, he’d resume his role as Russell Westbrook’s backup.
But Scott Brooks said Wednesday the position isn’t yet completely settled and that Maynor doesn’t automatically get his spot back.
“Going into the new season I think the minutes have to be earned,” Brooks said. “During the season if that happened and he came back, that would be something different. There have been a lot of games between his injury and now.
“I think that spot is open. That spot is open,” Brooks continued. “We have two great choices. Reggie’s really improved his game. He’s much more confident.”
Maynor sort of mentored Jackson last season as he worked to fill in, but now they’re evidently competing for a spot. Does that change anything?
“Nah, me and Reggie, anybody that’s out here is going to work hard,” Maynor said. “We’re going to compete every day. At the end of the day, Scott is the one that’s going to call that shot whoever’s going to be out there.
“Anybody that’s is in front of me, I’m competing with Russ every day,” Maynor said. “We’re competing with everybody every day.”
Is it more intense between Jackson and Maynor?
“I don’t think things could get more intense,” Jackson said.
Most likely, the spot is all Maynor’s. But a little extra motivation, a little extra push, a little extra something for training camp is a good thing. Competition brings out the best in people. It’s going to push Maynor to be his best, and vice versa for Jackson.
“It’s very competitive. That’s what you want as a coach and a staff is to have a competitive camp,” Brooks said. “Those guys are going to continue to compete against each other challenge each other and make sure they continue to improve. With those two guys, it’s going to be interesting to watch.”
On Hollis Thompson: “He has a great stroke. He’s a shooter. He’s very athletic and has some good size. He has active hands defensively. He’s intriguing.”
On if he trusts his knee yet: “Yeah I’m past that. Doesn’t mean nothing to me no more. I’m just out there playing now. Just like nothing ever happened.”
On of he’s more confident: “Possibly. I definitely feel like I’m more vocal at least. I think that’s a step in the right direction. Just keep trying to polish my game and fit into the team and do whatever it takes.”
On Perry Jones: “What a freak. What a freak. I believe it’s still showing, still raw talent and he’s getting better. You can tell our coach MB, Mark Bryant, is working with him and he’s getting better each and every day. I think you guys seen the one-on-ones over there and he’s really starting to challenge KD, I believe. His length can really challenge KD every day in practice and help him get better.”