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Caught in the Web: Kevin Durant fires back at Phil Jackson's suggestion he benefits from officiating calls


It looks like the plan has already started to work. Considering Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has been largely complimentary of Oklahoma forward Kevin Durant and was on pace to finish with the league's scoring title, I wondered if the Zen Master himself considered Durant to be the NBA torchbearer.

"Yeah, by the calls he gets,," Jackson told me about Durant, who leads the league in free-throw attempts (840) and is tied with LeBron James for attempts per contest (10.2). "He really gets to the line a lot, I'll tell ya."

Well, Durant didn't seem to appreciate the sentiment one bit, telling The Daily Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry he considered Jackson's comments disrespectful.

"That’s a part of my game, getting to the free-throw line and being aggressive," Durant told Maryberry. "If you say that I get superstar calls or I get babied by the refs, that’s just taking away from how I play. That’s disrespectful to me. I don’t disrespect nobody in this league. I respect every coach, every player, everybody. I never say anything bad about anybody else or question why they do this or do that. So for them to say that about me, I don’t even want to use no foul language.”

Of course, this is vintage Jackson, who typically uses the postseason to set the tone on how games will be called. I'm not oblivious that there is a general give-and-take between coaches and officials, but I don't exactly buy that these comments influence how referees call the game. I do buy, however, that it can influence how Durant will approach the postseason. And those comments suggest Jackson did the trick. We'll find out for sure once Game 1 starts on Sunday.

More Lakers links after the jump

Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers lack momentum heading into the playoffs, after ending the regular season with a 107-91 loss Wednesday to the Clippers.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding seconds that notion, saying the Lakers are limping into the postseason.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen explains the Lakers continue to stay concerned about the team's health.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford details why Lakers Coach Phil Jackson doesn't like how the team's playing entering the postseason.


--The Times' Bresnahan has an injury update on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

--The Riverside Press Enterprises's Lassen highlights Jordan Farmar's successful effort to play in all 82 regular-season games, even if it entailed a 1.3 second appearance in the season-finale.

--The Daily News' Teaford also focuses on Bynum's recovery process.

Columns's J.A. Adande argues the Lakers enter the postseason with the biggest question marks.

--The Orange County Register's Ding predicts Bryant won't win the league MVP this year.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin previews the Lakers-Thunders matchup.


--The Times' Lisa Dillman reports in the Fabulous Forum blog that Lakers forward Lamar Odom liked how Lakers forward Ron Artest played this season.

--Dillman also showcases the refreshing candor Clippers interim coach Kim Hughes provides.

--Forum Blue and Gold argues the Lakers responded to Vujacic's injury by playing not to get hurt.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore expresses concerns about the Lakers' injuries.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky detail Sasha Vujacic's severe left ankle sprain as well as Ron Artest's attempt to persuade the media he didn't remember which ankle he twisted.

--Clips Nation's Steve Perrin believes the Clippers season-ending victory over the Lakers will prove to be more valuable than "5 or 6 ping pong balls."'s Mike Trudell has a running diary of the Lakers' season-finale.

More Lakers links:

--Fox Sports previews the Lakers-Thunders series.'s Scott Howard-Cooper anticipates an exciting first-round matchup.

--Ball Don't Lie's Trey Kerby grades how Artest and Lakers reserve center D.J. Mbenga look with their golden bleached hair.

Tweet of the Day:"If healthy I like the Lakers over the Thunder in 5 - but Lakers aren't healthy - because of that they're vulnerable. Should be interesting." -- EricPincus (Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus).

Photo Caption Comment of the Day: "Vujacic and his Figure Skating partner suffer an agonizing fall during off-ice warm-ups." -- Ryan Kane

Reader Comment of the Day: "Did anyone else notice the Lakers looking at their watches wondering if they could go home and start thinking about the Thunder about mid way through the second quarter? For the chicken littles and nay sayers out there, I don't think anybody's heart was into trying to beat the Clippers." -- Jolly Rancher

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, right, suggested Tuesday that Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant gets favorable attention from the referees. Credit: Elise Amendola/ Associated Press; Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (25)

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The playoffs are about slow-it-down, grind-it-out basketball. The physicality becomes more fierce, the half-court sets become more important, and ball-movement and interior passing reign supreme.

That's why the Lakers have the advantage against the Thunder. The Lakers have Artest, a ferocious defender who will be given more leeway in the post-season. They have some of the best interior passing of any team in the NBA. They have a complex half-court set built for the playoffs.

Oh, and they have Kobe Bryant. The ultimate competitor. The best player in the league. The man who will play through anything, anytime, every time -- just to win a ring.

I don't care about what Mr. Wrong or BEETLE or any of those ridiculous posters say about the Lakers. It means nothing. When my team steps between the lines on Sunday, it's game on.

Go Lake Show!

Lakers have all kind of hand and foot injuries this year that could make a small clinic specializing in foot and hand prosperous. On the other hand, their mouths are still strong, no injury on the tongue and vocal chords of PJ. They could talk a lot from today because the media are highlighting all these injuries as the limping Lakers. The interview on Artest asking his ankle injury last night is like interrogating a mafia soldier on what's going on with the family activities. The interviewer was asking Artest and he kept on answering Sasha's injury. In the end, it is the reporter who has the problem or the injury for asking Artest those questions? Funny.

With regards to Sasha's injury, it is just unfortunate but the foul was not really that hard to tweak an ankle. I have seen a lot martial arts sparring lot of jumping and kicking but don't see those kinds of injuries. Well, because they were trained how to fall or how to land. Look at Mbenga, he's slow but look at the position of his posture, he's always in straddle position, can you hurt this guy? NO, unfortunately he's also slow to block the shots either. We have suggested this in the last 3 years that Lakers should be trained in other sports next season, martial arts, acrobatic, track and field. These other disciplines have relations to other facets of basketball where you constantly on the move, run, jump and body contacts.

We're all waiting for playoffs to start and somehow we're waiting for Lakers to shows up in playoff mode. I'm woried about not only our team moving into playoffs without any momentum, but biggest problem now all those injuries, latest one being Sasha. Looks like he started to get his groov back and now he is out of 1st round as a best case scenario. Bearing in mind how inefective Fish was this season, our guard rotation looking more and more like injuried list.

Edwin - I was part of the media scrum asking Artest about his injuries. We're just trying to get information. It's understandable Artest doesn't want to divulge much about his vulnerabilities and be seen as making excuses. But it's also understandable we ask these questions so we can present as much information as we can. And besides, injuries have affected this team.


"Mbenga and Artest golden bleached hair."

Artest should also bleach his beard to blend with the hair. In the case of Mbenga, there are bald spots that could not be covered by bleach, it is either Alopecia or Psoriasis. It needs to take antibiotics than bleach. lol!

If you have a golden hair and used to be black, the change would be glowing and bright out there. You are easily spotted by opponent or a teammate down post. It will help the team if the bleach has foul odor and staying too close guarding could be dangerous to one's health or allergy.

Artest - "Ankle? What ankle? I ain't got no ankles. Who wants to know? What you think I'm Frankie the Squealer or sumthin'?"


The dye jobs look like hunks of 70s carpeting on their heads, but it's obvious who is who when looking for someone to pass to.

As to PJ and young Mr. Durant: You have to love the way PJ starts playing with the young guys heads before the series starts. The first time Durant drives into traffic he's going to be thinking about whether the whistle is going to sound or not. If not, he's going to have to be ready to compose himself or Artest is going to be right under his skin. This is going to be fun.


Good day Lakernation,

C'mon, let's have some fun while Lakers are healing, I don't mean healing like Zaira's healing-:) Hi Zaira, enjoy your trip to Paris.

How the Lakers will perform in the first round will be indicative on how far they will go in the post season. IMHO, they still have enough in their tank to repeat. If all the key players are 100% healthy it should be a breeze. At their current state, they may not completely dominate the opposition but they will prevail.

I like the game sked for 1st round, they are favorable to me. Late Sunday and Monday games are killing me because I need to be up at 4:00am the following


Congratulation JR for being acknowledged by M/M roll of honor.

Yes, this side show of PJ has just started. He is being paid 5M to coach during the first 82 games and the balance of 7M is actually for the playoffs. It is is about the psyche on his players and the other players, coaches, league refs and thelikes. Then the adjustments to be made, the post placements which will be determined in the later games. Right now the Thunder game strategies is being analyzed to the letter including the strengths of players and coaching substitutions, Lakers may be limping those experiences would still surface there. It takes really a strong team and resolute player to absorb the blows.

Hey guys we got a new post up. Another photo caption contest!!


One again one of those fooli.. comment by our so called the Zen artist, that hopefully won't get us in trouble!

Instead of nagging, can he concentrate on coaching the team that he is being paid for!!!

Go Lakers Go

Oh yeah! Congrats to you Jolly Rancher for winning the comment of the day. Keep them coming.

Does durant get too much respect? YES

Does durant get superstar treatment? YES

Is durant leading the league in FTs? YES

Is this another one of sterns transparent attempts to prematurely hype another star? HELL YES

Is he for reals? YES

Will he consistently get calls against artest? YES

Will it matter? NO

Do the thunder have a chance? YES

Will the thunder prevail? HELL NO (knock on wood)

Artest - "Ankle? What ankle? I ain't got no ankles. Who wants to know? What you think I'm Frankie the Squealer or sumthin'?"


Posted by: Jolly Rancher | April 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM

>>>>That was what made me smile the most today. Great post ;)
(I also like that JR's comment was made Reader comment of the day above: I totally share his sentiments, word after word, letter after letter).

I am still incredibly torn and wounded by Sasha's injury, even all this hours later.

I was on the plane to Rome this morning, the flight was delayed, and I was still mumbling about our dreadful Fate about injuries this year.

Except that I am starting to think it's only *partially* Fate, and it is due to a maybe wrong approach at dividing charges of weights of physical preparation this year.

Of course it's merely a feeling... but it's really strange that suddenly this season (when some change has happened in our coaching division) all our players are incredibly ready to break.

Sure, it can be also that we are having three years in a row of total season played (and that Olympic break and the European Championship for Pau last summer)... but somehow, I just feel there's also that element to be put in charge.

And still, I can't wait for playoffs to start.

For me, injuries or not, we will take OKC in 5.

I said it.

As rightly pointed out above, we have the most driven players, and okay, they are having a long tongue this year, but all of the talkers these days are excellent players who know how to handle playoff pressure better than any other in any other team.

I know they can deliver.

So I am just expecting it.
Starting from a very bright (hopefully) Sunday Night (for me) in Paris.

Clock ticks in.

I am ready.

Are you my Lakers?

I think you are.

I forgot: Kevin D., you're very talented and I think I even really like you as player: but don't overthink about yourself.

Don't be that self-referential.

And learn to decode PJ: you might be one of his baby one day, who knows.

He wasn't disrespecteful. He actually honoured you with those words.

Learn how to balance words over, baby boy.

Cos you got something. Until you won't ego-ed all the rest.

For anybody remotely suggesting sasha was getting his game back get real...

He played a few games of garbage time..

Garbage time + garbage player = production

Injuries suck but this is a blessing in disguise..

What poetic justice.. right when sasha decides to hustle BAAMM! Sorry but he had it comin

more PT to rest of our guard rotation which should result in more overall consistent play and less stupid fouls 50 ft from the basket

Now to that other pinched nerve.. Where are you now? Stay ready we're gonna need ur help soon!

Jeannette, hope you had a nice Bday gal!!!
btw, Lakers would benefit of my style of healing... downloads lots of stress ;) ahahh.

My flight to Paris is tomorrow late evening.. yawza!!! But I should be on track to make it still to the first playoff chat.

I just got the assurance right now.


Lakers are Sharks and our Ocean is Playoff Times.
Bring the victim and let us smell its blood.
Rawwwwr... ;)

Jeannette, hope you had a nice Bday gal!!!
btw, Lakers would benefit of my style of healing... downloads lots of stress ;) ahahh.

My flight to Paris is tomorrow late evening.. yawza!!! But I should be on track to make it still to the first playoff chat.

I just got the assurance right now.


Lakers are Sharks and our Ocean is Playoff Times.
Bring the victim and let us smell its blood.
Rawwwwr... ;)

Do the thunder have a chance? YES

Will the thunder prevail? HELL NO (knock on wood)

Posted by: yellofever | April 15, 2010 at 11:25 AM



Edwin, Jeanette, and Zaira,
Thanks for noticing :)=)

Zaira - I'm happy to have provided at least one smile for the day. Good luck on your flight tomorrow. Hopefully the wind doesn't change.


"It's easy to get to the top; it's staying on top that's tough," Vince Lombardi
I think our boyz have experienced that this year. Western Conference (the East please?) let's play! Is it Sunday yet.



@Yup, I had a very nice b-day....I agree that "Zaira's healing" can do wonders as long as it's in right amount. We need those legs on Sunday, Thunder is a very young team and they like to run.

Take care Zaira, we need you healthy and healed in the playoffs.

Eric Wright,

Canada sucks and you have one team that sucks!

You are a creature of envy and nothing more. We all know this. I say it just to rub in the truth.

Why don't you root for your Canadian team in the playoffs? Oh! There isn't any! Well, good luck with the Canadian team in the Olympics!

Oh Canada!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Es ist wirklich eine sehr gute Website, um eine lange Zeit zu finden, sollten Sie bei Sammlungen sehen

Thanks again for a very well written post, I thought I would leave some positive feedback as this blog has me coming back time and time again, many thanks from the UK and keep up the good work.



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