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Phil Jackson playing nice with everyone

Lj3mnqnc As contrary as he can sometimes be, it would've been safe to presume that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson would spend his final season getting in every last dig he can.

But he's spent the last week lamenting a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune headlined "Why does Phil hate us?" -- a rundown of zingers he's fired at New Orleans over the years. After comparing the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings, to the McCourts, embattled owners of the Dodgers, Jackson apologized for his remarks in a handwritten letter. And as the Lakers entered their Western Conference semifinal series against the Dallas Mavericks, Jackson showered nothing but praise on owner Mavericks Mark Cuban, a man with whom Jackson often trades playful barbs back and forth, about being a possible new owner of the Dodgers.

"He really improved their quality of their team," Jackson said of Cuban and the Mavericks. "... I imagine he'd do the same thing with the Dodgers."

Sure, Jackson later joked about how he wouldn't want Cuban to be an owner of a team he coached, fearful that the entrepreneur would be obtrusive behind the bench. He also made it clear he reluctantly wrote the apology to the Maloofs, cracking, "I had a gun to my head, but I did it." But during a time when Jackson is typically finding a way to tweak an official or opponent to gain a competitive edge, play a mind game or just amuse himself, he's now staying remarkably quiet.

In an interesting twist, Cuban has decided to take the same approach, joking that he's waiting for the right time to throw Jackson a punch line. When informed that Jackson considered Cuban a good candidate to buy the Dodgers, Cuban replied, "Phil is always right." When told about Jackson's handwritten apology to the Maloofs, Cuban couldn't help but remark on his own penmanship, saying, "I don't think even think my handwriting works anymore." And when asked by numerous reporters to throw some barb at Jackson, Cuban surprisingly resisted: "I'm just going to hold my tongue right now."

"I like it," Cuban said of the back-and-forth with Jackson. "It's only fun to pick on somebody if they can fight back."

But for now, Jackson's making peace.

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson on April 3, 2011. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

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I think what drives me crazy about the offense is that going inside should not be just about Bynum, Gasol, and Odom. There needs to be a concerted effort to attack the paint by everyone and to do so in better ways. Phil has to design different sets so that Kobe, Artest, Fisher, Brown, Blake, etc can drive to the basket and make things happen.

This team misses that second dynamic cutting option. Kobe cannot do it all by himself and cannot simply do it from isos on the wing.

Should be interesting to see how the series progresses. I think you can point to adjustments made during the Hornets series on both offense and defense, so let's see if Phil can do that now.

Posted by: teamn | May 03, 2011 at 10:07 AM


I agree with you...............The Lakers certainly need a second option because I know you know this but a lot of people do not realize what I'm about to say......................KOBE IS THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS TEAM THAT CAN CREATE HIS OWN OFFENSE!!

This is why so many people say..........the triangle offense is just "giving the ball to Kobe".............That's what Jerry West said..............and he's correct. I'm not talking about the formatting of the offense because I like the triple post, the times. But what do you do when this offense breaks down? Mike Fratello said something the other day and it is so true.............he said........"In the playoffs you have to have guys that can create their own offense when the offense you're running breaks down". A caveat to that quote for me would be or have guys that instinctively know how to play off of guys who can create their own offense.

This is why Trevor Ariza was so good with Kobe and Kobe began to trust him so much. Trevor developed 2 things while playing with Kobe that he knew would endear him to Kobe.

#1 Trevor developed a spot up 3 pt spread the floor for Kobe
#2 Trevor didn't need "touches"...........nor did he complain about it because he understood his role..............THAT'S KEY..........understand your role!!

Trevor did what I like to call "fill in the gaps" on offense when Kobe has it...............he would cut at precisely the right time to give Kobe an outlet when he got in trouble. That last possession when Kobe threw the ball away.........2 things happened.........Chandler came over to help and Jason Terry appeared to come but stayed halfway.............2 things didn't happen................Gasol just stayed there and didn't move in the gap when his man left for fact Gasol almost hid.............If he would have flashed quickly to the middle of the lane giving Kobe an outlet.............Gasol would have had a layup.........the other thing was Derek Fisher just stood there and didn't move to create another passing lane for Kobe.............This is what I mean by "filling in the gaps" on offense.

In that situation Kobe would have found a flashing or cutting Ariza who would seemingly always cut at precisely the right of Kobe

Ironically Phil Jackson started Luke Walton (the anti-Trevor Ariza) ahead of Trevor until Luke took himself out of the starting lineup..........This is a true story

Back to the offense...........If you don't have players that can create their own offense what do you do when the triangle breaks down?

Kobe was so correct and he proved it the 2nd game in the Hornets series................He focused on defense and took only 10 shots after Gasol used the excuse as he often does that "I need more touches" that game Gasol's shot attempt were STILL it wasn't Kobe.

It's Gasol's inability to create his own shots in the post...........he can't establish low position against guys like Landry or even Chandler of Dallas.

In other words you could come down and force feed Gasol and Bynum and neither one would be able to get up 25 shots let alone 29 shots. They just don't have the ability to do it...........creating your own shot takes TALENT

Hakeem could do it............Kareem could do it..............but Gasol and Bynum are not Hakeem and Kareem................Phil.................."STOP TRYING TO MAKE THEM THAT"

Gasol is even starting to sound like Phil by never accepting's always someone else's fault when he doesn't get "touches"

Phil Jackson - MJ and Kobe = Kurt Rambis

The Lakers have not played the consistent basketball that I have discussed in previous commentaries. This team has shown the desired to be eliminated and are remembering past sucesses. This is the 2011 Lakers losers. Thanks


I was waiting for your post regarding the Game. I wanted to read something "clear" and especially "sane".

For years you were chipping at PJ's mantle and myth.

Today, based on the perfect example of the last night's game, you BRILLIANTLY encapsulated all his vanishing "qualities".

I wish we can "guess" the countdown of him riding into the sunset in Montana. Much shorter than Luke's! :-)


>>>Phil Jackson - MJ and Kobe = Kurt Rambis

More Phil hate huh?

I'm curious... Who do you think are better coaches than Phil?

Memo to Team:

YESTERDAY was time to flip the switch.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Or maybe some noncontact yoga or step arobics so I can be like pau.

Posted by: yellofever | May 03, 2011 at 10:14 AM


HOW BOUT SOME ZUMBA? you can follow my lead!

I'm curious... Who do you think are better coaches than Phil?

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 03, 2011 at 11:47 AM

What has that to do with his poor decisions from last night? Yes, I know, 11 rings and … counting?! … yada, yada, yada, or blah, blah, blah

****************SHALLOW THOUGHTS by Troll Man******************

1. Some points I made during live chat last night.

__a. Timeout- when the 16 point lead went to single digits because of bad play
__b. Cats ate Pau's hand- never seen a guy fumble as much
__c. Over/Under- 6 minute mark of 4th to bring Kobe back in. PJ is predictable
__d. Where's Bynum- Mavs owned the paint with Bynum out in the 4th

2. It's hard for Kobe to get an assist when players can't make wide open shots or fumble the ball time and time again

3. Kobe's turnover at the end was decisive he should have at least attempted to shoot and hope for a foul but if you watch the play no one was in position to receive a pass. Very poor decision though.

4. Thought Kobe's ending 3 point shot was good for a split second.

5. The Mavs as well as the entire league are great actors never have I seen such incidental contact become falling on the floor fouls. Just pisses me off.

6. A new coach might call timeouts at critical momentum swing times, play your best players more than half of the 4th quarter, and exploit obvious mismatch matchups.

7. Not much mention of Shannon Browns horrible play

8. Blake, see #7

9. Coulda have used Farmar and Sasha last night

10. Phil Jackson will never ever ever ever take responsibilty for a loss.

11. Lakers will win and Phil will look like a genieass once again, but can't help but think that he makes it much more difficult than it needs to be.

I don't know why people are criticizing the last shot by the Lakers. It was one of the more well designed late game plays I've seen from them. Instead of passing to Kobe and making him create something out of nothing, Kobe got a very open look at a 3 pointer to win the game, what more can you ask for?

When Kobe made the shot over Jason Terry and did the finger wag, I had a funny feeling that it was too early for that. If you're going to go there, you have to make sure you have the game secured.

Phil is getting way too much blame for last night's game just like he probably would have got way too much credit if they had won. Coaches rely on the players to execute the plays. When the players succeed, the coach looks like a genius. When the players fail, the coach looks like a mannequin. Phil didn't do much out of the ordinary last night.

As an outsider here, I would like to chime in on this Phil talk (never been a fan, you see);
I would argue Phil is not even the greatest LAKERS coach of all time.....that would be Riley, IMO.
Coaches better than Phil:

and some guy named Wooden!!

Phil is getting exactly the correct amount of blame he deserves

This is the playoffs and he's still coaching like its the regular season or is anyone going to argue that

1. he was correct to wait till a 16 point lead dwindle to 3 before calling a timeout.

2. He was correct to wait till the 6 minute mark of the 4th to bring Kobe back in while Dirk sat out only a minute+.

3. He was correct pulling Bynum and watching Chandler dominate in the 4th.

4. He was correct in his lineup at the end of the game and his defensive matchups.

@hobbit.. Thanks for the response. I asked b/c I often agree with kennys analysis. Kobe checking in at the 6:38 mark of the 4th is mind boggling. There is no one on the mavs who can guard kobe and he was unstoppable all night. The problem is when kobe ACTIVATES everyone else DEACTIVATES

And looks like the boston/miami series is the real eastern finals... And me prefers boston over unpredictable miami who has sterns full backing. I don't fear the BIG 3 CHEATS I fear the 3 ZEBRAS. Go boston!

"Phil is getting exactly the correct amount of blame he deserves

This is the playoffs and he's still coaching like its the regular season or is anyone going to argue that

1. he was correct to wait till a 16 point lead dwindle to 3 before calling a timeout.

2. He was correct to wait till the 6 minute mark of the 4th to bring Kobe back in while Dirk sat out only a minute+.

3. He was correct pulling Bynum and watching Chandler dominate in the 4th.

4. He was correct in his lineup at the end of the game and his defensive matchups.

Posted by: Troll Man | May 03, 2011 at 12:26 PM "

That's why I place a lot of importance in the regular season. It's the same game, nothing magically changes in the playoffs.

1. He always does this. Preseason, regular season, playoffs, finals, wherever. He always expects his players to figure it out.

2. Kobe being in there too early can cause him too peak early. The teammates tend to stand around and watch him when he takes over so it can create a 1 on 5 effect. Even though he is their most dangerous scorer by far, they can't ride him all game.

3. Bynum was ineffective all game long. He was missing chip shots, his footwork was shaky in the paint and he couldn't get good position, he wasn't getting rebounds, and he wasn't changing the game on either side. I didn't think he deserved more minutes.

4. He definitely could have done things differently but I think Phil has grown accustomed to his players pulling through and bailing him out in the crucial times. That's why he never resorts to micro-managing. Last night it didn't work.

Phil CANNOT get a pass for NOT knowing the rules of the game with whatever the hell he was doing on that late timeout. Putting Bynum on Kidd!! Huh??? HUH?????

You have a 16 point lead and you wait till its 3 to call a TO? Don't care if it's the starters or the bench that lost the lead; you are a coach ( and being paid 10 million to boot) for a reason, and its not to seat on your high chair and snooze.

Like the PSP said, the problem with pointing out the many flaws of Philip is that the Phil lovers will quickly scream 11 rings at you. Oy Vey

PSP Intern

Phil is the greatest basketnall coach ever, hands down stats don't lie, or as Rasheed Wallace says, "The ball don't lie", but he waited too long last night to get his starters back in the game. Kobe didn't come back until there was 6 minutes and change left in the game, where he had an oportunity to put him back in with 9 minutes left. It may not have made a difference in the final score, but when your star players are sitting on the bench as the lead is evaporating, it makes you say WTF. This isn't the time for rest, but I expect Phil and the Lakers will bounce back as they ALWAYS do when their backs are against the wall. Game ON!

with the good part of a night and most of the day to reflect on this, i must say that NOBODY looked good after this. i have always thought that men in the army don't fight for their country, they fight for the men in their platoon, the fighting for country being a little too abstract in the middle of a firefight. in a similar vein,guys on a team are fighting for each other, not letting the team down, what happened last night? i hope it's not as i suggested some time ago involving the empreor's new clothes. i don't think it is. they only lost by 2 points. but i haven't seen the anger and the pride. hopefully there will be a couple of fights in practice

Mike G-Man, I got two words for you - John Wooden!!

Can't a loss be construed as "strategic"?

Jackson 11 rings and counting, Wooden 10, both great, but Phil is one of a kind and does it at the pro level with a lot more competition.



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