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Josh Jackson apologizes for missing event, addresses Suns’ image

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) is fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Phoenix. The Hawks defeated the Suns 118-112. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns wing Josh Jackson apologized for missing an autograph signing Wednesday, a decision that led to a fine of $20,000, per 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Jackson said an issue with his family interfered with the timing of his arrival at the event.

“Just had some family matters I had to attend to,” he said after shootaround Friday. “I got a phone call right before the event was supposed to start and I had to rush over to my mom’s place.

“Really wish I could have been there but I couldn’t. I don’t think anybody’s gonna schedule something and just not show up so if I could have been there I really would have.”

Jackson said too much time had passed once the family matter was resolved, and he had planned to go to the event. He then received a call from the Suns that told him not to worry about heading over.

The second-year forward received some backlash on social media later that night when he posted on his Instagram story at a friend’s birthday dinner.

He apologized to the fans that were left hanging.

“Sorry I couldn’t be there,” Jackson said. “I really do plan on making it up to you guys, and I know a lot of you guys are upset but I’m gonna make it up and we’ll get past it.”

Jackson said there is another signing planned for this month and he’s already sent out a couple of personalized autographs.

As far as his fine for violating team rules being released by the team, Jackson said that shouldn’t be public information.

“We have team rules and guys — we’ve been fined in the past and you’ve never known about it,” he said.

The timing on that Wednesday couldn’t have been worse, as a reported surfaced that morning from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that said the NBA was concerned about the state of the Suns.

Later in the day, Suns co-interim general manager and vice president of basketball operations James Jones defended the competency of the front office in reference to those reports with Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM.

“I can’t control when people try to take shots. But I don’t talk to Woj. He doesn’t know what goes on inside the building,” Jones said.

With that in mind, Jackson was asked about the team’s current image.

“Well I feel like it’s kind of hard to judge from the outside looking in,” he said. “OK, a lot of you media come to a few practices (but) y’all don’t really see everything we do on a day-to-day basis. Y’all don’t see the relationships that we have with each other. Y’all don’t see how we interact.

“To be able to judge from the outside looking in is, really, pretty much impossible I think.”

While discussing how it’s not others’ fault for not being able to understand the goings-on for an NBA franchise, he noted the challenges of the responsibilities those on a team hold.

“You don’t know how hard having any job here is,” he said. “Upstairs, being a player — it’s not easy and you don’t know what you would do until you’re in somebody else’s shoes.”

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