Lakers' Phil Jackson says his team won't break NBA win record, but the Heat could.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Thursday, at the team's shoot-around in preparation for its game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center, that the Lakers can't break his old Chicago Bulls' team's all-time NBA regular season record of 72-10.
But here is what raised eyebrows.
Jackson said the Miami Heat, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, has the potential to one day break Chicago's record.
When asked what he thought about people asking so early in the season if the undefeated Lakers (8-0) could break Chicago's record, Jackson said. "Well, it's not going to happen."
Jackson then chuckled.
He said the NBA schedule is too tough, the travel is too hard for a team based on the West Coast, and it's too hard for a team to stay healthy enough to break the 72-10 mark.
"Everything just has to break perfect for that to happen," Jackson said. "Plus a team has to be very, very resilient and very, very capable of filling in for one another at multiple positions."
Jackson was asked if a team in the near future could win 70 games or more.
"I think this Miami team could," Jackson said. "I mean, they are talented enough to do that. They may not be deep enough yet, or have all their persons in place...If they stay together, they have a good chance. They have a very talented team."
The Heat entered Thursday's game against the Boston Celtics with a 5-3 record.
That meant very little to Jackson, who was the coach of the 1995-96 Bulls team. "You can have an eight-game winning streak anytime and go from there," Jackson said.
Kobe Bryant just smiled when told what Jackson said about the Lakers not being able to set the all-time mark, but that the Heat has the better opportunity.
"I disagree with whatever coach says," Bryant said, laughing. "You know Phil says stuff. Don't wrap me up into that...He said it. He stands by it."
Bryant said he knew the questions were coming.
In fact, Bryant said he bet Chip Shaefer, the Lakers' athletic performance director in charge of player development, about how long it would take before questions were asked about the Lakers' chances of setting a new win record.
Who won the bet?
"He did," Bryant said about Schaefer, a trainer of that Bulls team that set the all-time record. "He predicted after 7-0 and I predicted after 8-0. It started off after 7-0, so he won."
--Broderick Turner, reporting from Denver