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Phil Jackson on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and their injuries

A couple of interesting injury related points that came up in the pre-game media session with Phil Jackson:

Kobe Bryant's ability and willingness to play through pain stacks up against- if not just plain smokes- any athlete I can recall.  But even recognizing that tendency, Phil thought Kobe's strained groin might have led to a few games in street clothes, given how he limped off the court in the final minutes of Sunday's loss to Houston.  But one good Monday practice and a hefty dose of "suck it up" later, and Kobe's getting right back on the horse.  

Phil was asked if Pau Gasol's potential availability on Thursday might prompt Kobe to take Thursday off and utilize three days to let his groin mend up before Sunday's contest against the Thunder.  "He would never do that," said Phil.  I then asked if he was ever tempted to just overrule Kobe and tell him to sit out for the sake of the bigger picture.  Nope.  Phil trusts Kobe's judgment, and more importantly, respects what 24 considers a badge of honor.

"I think an 82 game season has just as much a meaning for him and Derek (Fisher) as a scoring championship.  That's something that they really relish.  That they're gonna go out every night and compete every night.  That's something we really want our players to do."

Of course, this entire conversation was sparked by the hypothetical of Pau being available on Thursday against the Bulls.  That's still the plan, for the time being, and Phil actually asked Pau if tonight was a possibility.  Unfortunately, Gasol felt he wasn't quite ready yet.  I asked Phil if the finicky, unsure nature of hamstring injuries might be turning Pau gun shy about just getting on the court.  A big grin formed as Phil interrupted me. 

"You mean he's a hypochondriac and might be a baby and not come out and play?  Is that what you're trying to say with that question?" 

"No, but it's definitely what you're trying to say," I responded.

On a roll, Phil opined that Pau actually "got injured on CSI and he's not telling the truth.  I actually watched that program just to see if that's what happened.  When he dragged that kid out of the car, I'm sure that's where he got his injury."  

Quips later flew about not stretching before the scene ("You know those sets are, you just stand around, stand around.") and not using a stunt double in the episode's car crash.  Plus, some advice. 

"I told him to keep his night job, what the heck."

This was also the first time he'd ever seen the Miami based serial, so never let it be said that Phil won't rearrange his schedule for an All-Star.   

Comments () | Archives (7)

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I don't mind the Kobester playing even when he has a slight injury, but, please, there are other stars on the Lakers team that can take some of the load too. Just share.

Any chance Lakers could make a trade with the Warriors for the Monte Ellis?

In re replacements for displacements.

The Cavs dithered and dallied with Antonio Daniels as Delonte West imploded.

Why not make it easy for them?

Sign Daniels.

6-4, 34, 19,600 career mins (cf. Stackhouse at 28,500);

Low touch rate (for a guard) @ 16.3 ;

Reasonable PER @ 14.6 (cf. Luke at 15.0 this season, 12.6 career);

Excellent AST% @ 23.8 career, 28.3 last season.

One of the few players who elevates his game for the postseason, i.e., has a higher *playoff* PER than career PER.

Steady decision-maker (TOV% 13.3) who delivered solid minutes that contributed to *10* postseason appearances over *11* (career) yrs, including SAS, POR, SEA, WAS, NOH (cf. Stackhouse at 7/13).

Downside: Rebounding (even for a guard).

Still, the man knows how to win.

Question: How much tread?

One of the few *available* guys with Luke-like size, similar skills who is *not* currently active is Grizzlie castoff -- Marko Jaric.

If anyone remembers Jaric from his Clipper daze, they'll also recall PLENTY of fugh-lee Marko moments.

But as a 12-24 minute guy who can board, space, dish & run the floor?

The Lakers could do worse. A LOT worse.

Well, To my surprise, during tonights live game chat, guess who showed up, me!! The only thing is that I was working and arrived home for the second half. One day, I'm going to come home, and find my wife serving my dinner to this Imposter, then I will know finally that the Twilight Zone was for real.


I think the inability of the bench to perform during games has a lot to do with the way PJ ultimately looks at the bench: as a tool to sharpen the starters plus the three or four key reserves that will actually play in the finals.

For example, during an interview in June PJ mentioned how DJ was very good at impersonating Dwight Howard during practice.

So their job is not to really act like the Lakers, and play within the triangle, its to act like other teams and try and prevent the Lakers starters+3 from executing the Lakers offense.

Therefore, we see them unable to keep the offense going, and we see them tend to get fouls quickly.

So don't get down on them for not acting like the Lakers starters: that is not their job. Their job is to help get rings by making the starters+3 better!

It sure seems to work...

It is no use doing what you like; you have got to like what you do.



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