"Win. We need to win, be a competitive team," Jackson said during halftime of a Knicks-Lakers summer-league game Monday. "I think we showed agents and players around the league the serious nature of what we're trying to get accomplished. People that know basketball will recognize that and we'll have people that want to come here."
Like the Lakers, the Knicks are putting a lot of stock in the draft these days. They took lanky Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall selection. He was booed immediately after his name was called on draft night in New York, Knicks fans eminently more familiar with available college stars Willie Cauley-Stein and Justise Winslow.
Then New York traded for Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant, a first-round draft pick last month who has looked good so far in summer league.
When free agency didn't turn in their direction, they grabbed workmanlike center Robin Lopez (four years, $54 million) and swingman Arron Afflalo (two years, $16 million), who weren't among Portland's top three players last season.
"Well, he's 19 years old. That's what I've thought about him so far," Jackson said with a chuckle while Porzingis was on his way to nine points and three rebounds in 18 minutes of the Knicks' 76-66 victory. "The growth is going to be interesting to see. He looks like a he can hold his own a little bit out there. I think he's going to find a comfort zone."
Jackson watched Monday's game from a courtside seat next to his longtime companion, Lakers President Jeanie Buss. He found time to talk about her team, too.
"I like their young players that they have," he said before moving to the Lakers' main acquisitions this month, shot-blocking center Roy Hibbert and reigning NBA sixth man of the year Lou Williams.
"Hibbert's going to do a job for them that's required. He's a big guy that can cover the middle. Lou's been a fourth-quarter scorer, something that they may not need if Kobe Bryant's playing the way he's played over his career.
"But I'd just as soon not comment on another team at this time. I already did, so I'll just leave it at that."