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June 18, 2021

Reggie Jackson

Los Angeles, California, USA

Postgame Press Conference

Los Angeles Clippers 131, Utah Jazz 119

Q. A video is surfacing from when you were down 0-2 to the Mavs and you came out with a shirt with a smiley face that says "No worries, no worries." What did you know that we didn't, that everyone else didn't?

REGGIE JACKSON: No shirts. This team is dope, man. This team we battled through adversity all year. This team is a resilient group. This team is very confident. Yeah, this team, we're together. We are a band of brothers. We really believe in each other. We believe when no one else does. So I just have confidence.

I watched us work throughout the entire year and I watched individuals come in on off-days, put in countless amount of hours seen, our frustration levels go up at times and for the right reasons, just because we are hungry to get better, we are hungry to figure it out so that we can win. I never had doubt in this group.

They never really hung their heads. I just tried to remain a confident individual, so it was no worries for me. I knew we would figure it out and that's how I felt, I was confident we would figure it out and unfortunately being down 0-2 twice. Going into this next series, we don't want to dig that hole. This group is going to battle it out to the end, and I'm proud of the way we came out and it showed today being down by 25 at one point and finding a way to fight for each other and to get this win tonight was amazing.

Q. Did you get a sense down 17, the fans started getting into it?

REGGIE JACKSON: It was great to have this building open backup, to have full capacity to have the fans, our fans back in here, give them something to cheer for. We didn't necessarily come out the way we wanted to in the first half. Really got punched in the mouth. They were playing great basketball generally throughout the series and they were making some open threes, tough threes and really came and put it on us. The crowd never got out of it. They were silent for a while just because Utah was playing well.

But it was reassuring to come back at the half and see the building packed and see our fans behind us. We knew at some point we had to give them something to cheer for unless we could get the fans backing us and get the fans voices active, we could try to put our foot on the gas and really try to put Utah with their backs against the wall. We found a way to continue battling. I'm proud of the way the guys came out to battle.

Pat Bev I think said it best. We got into halftime and we were talking about offensive mistakes, things that we were doing there, and he really harped on us that it didn't matter offensively. It was more so what we were doing defensively, or weren't doing. We were sticking to our schemes. We weren't giving into the ball. We were making them feel us. Once we did that and got some turnovers, it allowed us to get in transition to try to get in the paint and make them work and rotate and have them lose guys and aloud us to get open shots and really just tried to put pressure on Rudy because he was putting pressure on the other end in terms of his length keeping rebounds alive.

So we wanted to attack the whole team by trying to attack him in transition and make them have to guard and keep them on their toes.

Q. As the historical perspective of what you guys just accomplished, what was the scene like in the locker room?

REGGIE JACKSON: I don't know if there's historical perspective. A lot of us weren't here in terms of like I say, history getting Clippers to the Western Conference Finals, also being down, overcoming a 25-point deficits, as seen on TV is the largest one in like 25 years. Two great feats, but we know the game's changed with the three-point line with everybody shooting these threes. We knew we had a chance, and like I said, if we get stops, we give ourselves a chance to get back in this game and we continue to fight and never stopped believing in ourselves.

Happy to get the monkey off the Clippers back a little bit. But we are striving for more. This group we have been hungry for one thing coming into the season and it's just still in the front of our mind and we just want to get better. Continue to come in here and get better each and every day. Excited to get home. Watch some film. Try to dissect it. Excited for our coaching staff to do the same and for us all to come as collective minds tomorrow to see what we've been doing well in this series, take something else from this series to go into the next one.

We are going to enjoy it. It's right back into playing another great team in Phoenix in two days. So we are getting ready for the challenge.

Q. You just talked about this team's hunger. With eight minutes to go, you're out on the court waving the fans on and it felt like an outpouring of emotion that was like 50 years in the making. But how do you put into words how far you guys have come from last year in the postseason, blowing a 3-1 lead to now being a team that comes back from an 0-2 series, in two series, coming back from 25 points down, how do you put into words how far you've come from last year to this year?

REGGIE JACKSON: Special. We still have a majority of the group of guys that were here last year that took on a tough loss, losing a 3-1 series lead and to know what is happening in history here. This group, I think one of the biggest things we try to do from day one is wash it. Wash the season we had behind us.

It's easier said than done. Bring a little of that animosity, a little bit of that sour taste from last year, but it was a whole new team. No matter who came back, it's a new day, new year, all new individuals and we had to collectively come together, find something to play for, find something to fight for, find a way to bond with your brother and get to know him better so that you want to protect him more on the court and want to see each other do well. I think what's gotten us through this year so far in those two 0-2 deficits is we have not necessarily focused on trying to rewrite history or make history. We are just focused on our journey and we are focused on this group and we put last year behind us. It's special and we are going to have moments this year where somebody might reverence it and everybody immediately is on you about just letting it go, move on, all you can do is use it to get better but we can't hang on to that season. What's made this season is the new group of guys that we brought in, new group of guys have stepped up that really is, like I said, we wash that year off, we haven't really talked about it much, we talked about it a little in the off-season but once it was done it was done. And that's what we said we were going to do. We were going to leave it on the door and come in and focus on this season. It's a whole new 2021 season, and so that's all that's been on the front of our mind is figuring out how we can be the best team we can this year, be the best individual we can, be the best team we can and then try to be the last one standing. Fortunately we have ourselves a chance and we are going to play a great team in Phoenix, but for us, we don't want the journey to end here.

Q. Even though you guys don't talk about it, do you feel changing the narrative surrounding this team?

REGGIE JACKSON: We would hope so. But in about five more weeks, like I said we have a goal, we want to be the last one standing, and then hopefully we are going to write some different history for this team.

We know what we have to do and we know what we want and we know it's not easy. Nothing in life is. Nothing worth fighting for is easy, and now we are going to continue to kick, scratch, claw, come in, put the work in daily and you know put the effort out there on the court to give ourselves the best chance to win each and every night, and to do something we set out to do, what is it, about four or five months ago now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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