Tag:Phil Jackson
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:32 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 9:39 am
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Report: Lakers considering offensive mutiny

The Lakers are facing serious problems on the road. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The Lakers' loss to the lowly Wizards isn't causing panic. But it's definitely got the Nation of Lakerland in an uproar, inside and out. The Lakers' inability to win on the road where they are now 6-14 on the season is a huge black mark on their championship-caliber record. It makes two losses in two nights to lottery teams, with the Wizards truly one of the league's worst teams. It involved a 21-point blown-lead, a dagger from Nick Young, and Kobe Bryant shooting 31 times. Thirty-one-times for thirty points. 

So in this time of trouble, Mother Laker has of course came to them, speaking words of wisdom: "throw your coach under the bus and try and run the offense you want on your own." From ESPN.com: 
Bynum publicly invited the bulk of the responsibility for the Lakers' second straight loss to a lottery-bound straggler from the Eastern Conference, but sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com this week that there is growing concern among some Lakers players as to whether first-year coach Mike Brown and his staff have the X-and-O wherewithal to fix a Lakers offense that is averaging its lowest per-game point total (94) since before the advent of the 24-second shot clock in 1954-55.

Brown's effect on the Lakers' defense has been undeniable, but sources say the team's ongoing struggles on the road -- with L.A. dropping to 6-14 away from Staples Center following a loss in Detroit and blowing a 21-point lead to the undisciplined Wizards -- have some veterans longing for a return to the trusty Triangle offense preferred by Brown's predecessor, Phil Jackson.
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers players have concerns over coach Mike Brown's X's and O's - ESPN Los Angeles.

The report goes on to say:  
Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that multiple players have continued to meet privately since the initial team meeting to discuss running elements of the Triangle offense again.

"The players want to unify," one source with knowledge of the situation said. "They know how to win, and they want to fix this. I don't know if they can, though. "
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers players have concerns over coach Mike Brown's X's and O's - ESPN Los Angeles.

Yes, because clearly, when I think about who should be organizing an offense behind their coach's back, I think of Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace, Andrew Bynum, and Steve Blake.

If the report's on target, that's an abject disaster for Brown and Lakers' management. Players considering overthrowing a coach's offense in favor of what they want to do, which happens to be one of the most complex offenses to run? It should be noted that no coach outside of Phil Jackson, with either Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant in his prime, or Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, have been successful with the system. So basically this is a terrible idea.

This kind of talks is what comprises a coach losing his team, so the report's pretty volatile. It's been less than a full season for Brown and with the players unrest showing in both their effort and talks like this, the Lakers' most drama-filled season since Kobe Bryant's trade demand in 2007 is threatening to break apart one of the most dominant teams of the last half-decade.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:06 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 10:09 am
 

Jackson says coaching Knicks would be 'special'

Phil Jackson says he's not interested in coaching again, but New York is "special" (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

For starters, Phil Jackson told the New York Times he's not interested in coaching right now. Let's get that out there, first and foremost. See, I'll even blockquote it, from the New York Times
“I have no desire to coach,” he said. “You never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind — but I just don’t see it.
So Jackson is not "considering," "exploring," "rumored to be interested in," or in contact with the Knicks. He's hanging out in Montana and L.A., being Phil Jackson, and probably being pretty happy with the fact that when he baggage checks his championship jewelry, he has to pay the extra weight fees. 

However, the very next quote in that article is what makes you stop and go "hmmm" much as Arsenio Hall did in the early 1990's.
“Without a doubt, New York is special,” he continued in a vein a little more encouraging for Knicks fans. “Why wouldn’t it be? When I was there, it was one of the greatest times to be in New York. I mean, the Mets, Jets and Knicks won championships all in one year.”
via Phil Jackson Is Seduced by the Energy of New York - NYTimes.com.

Jackson, of course, won his first NBA championship as a player with the Knicks in the 1970's. A former teammate from his time there, Walt Frazier, is the color commentator. Bill Bradley, another teammate, lives there. He has history there.

Mike D'Antoni is in the last year of his contract. The Knicks are stuck in neutral, and D'Antoni's high-flying system is ill-suited to focusing around a shoot-first, shoot-last, shoot-always small forward in Carmelo Anthony and without a legit point guard, Amar'e Stoudemire has none of his strengths being maximized. The Knicks are a better defensive team this year, but the offense is so dreadful that finger-pointing has begun. As far back as three years ago, when Jackson was still winning titles with L.A., there was talk of Jackson returning to finish off his coaching run where it began, at Madison Square Garden.

The fact that the current Knicks roster is so amazingly optimized for the Triangle offense Jackson has always run (and been the only coach to be successful with it in the NBA) should not be overlooked. With Tyson Chandler in the low block, Amar'e Stoudemire in the high post, and Anthony on ther perimeter, it would allow Anthony to improvise, shoot and create, while not forcing him into running the entire offense, as the Triangle delineates decisions down to a set of options versus a free-flowing system. The Knicks lack of real guard help, even with the return of Baron Davis, would be acceptable as they would rotate weak side available for kick-outs as shooters on kick-and-drives to the basket from the far side.

The coach back where it started. A team in need of his talents. The similarities between Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, their friendship, even. One last run to finish his illustrious career where it began. It's too perfect. Which is why it probably will not happen. And yet, even as Jackson says he doesn't miss it... he kind of does.  Again, from the Times: 
“I don’t miss it. I really don’t miss it. But I think I have to stick my finger into an electric socket every once in a while just to get a little jolt out of life to keep it going because that’s what gave me the joys, the jollies of life.”
So, no, Phil Jackson will not be coaching the Knicks. Probably. Most-likely. 

...

But if he did ...
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:37 pm
 

What's next for Kings after Westphal?



By Matt Moore


With the predictable, yet sooner-than-expected firing of Paul Westphal today, the Kings seem to be in disarray. But looking at the roster and the talent available, plus the job being in California (be it Sacramento or Anaheim), you have to consider it to be one of the more attractive positions likely to open this year. Yes, the franchise is in disarray from an ownership and organizational perspective, but this is the NBA. Those things magically fade to the background if you start winning with a talented roster, and the Kings have a talented roster.

So who's on the radar for the Kings? We're going to give you a few options the Kings might explore and how those options play out with the different coaches, but first you need to understand the complexities of the situation.

The Kings are not, publicly or reportedly, under any financial strain, beyond the losses which were poured over in lockout talks. But the Maloofs were hit hard by the economic recession, which helped fuel their desire for the move to Anaheim last year that was thrwarted by the NBA. One of the primay reasons many believed Westphal would not be fired this season was due to the salary that must be paid to him in addition to a new coach. That the Kings felt it was imperative to move on is a good sign for Kings fans, indicating that they're willing to pay out the rest of the deal to get started on a new chapter. Still, the price tag on many of the options below may be too high. The situation in Sacramento goes beyond "get the best coach available."

Keith Smart: In November of 2008, P.J. Carlesimo was fired from the Thunder after a 1-12 start. A young
assistant and former player Scott Brooks took over. Voila. OK, so Keith Smart is 47, and this is his third stint as interim head coach. But if Smart somehow manages to get through to this team (including yes, DeMarcus Cousins), that would be the best possible situation for all. Smart wouldn't cost a fortune and has continuity. Drawbacks? Well, he was part of the horrible start and he's failed to stick at the two previous interim spots. Smart drew mixed reviews in Golden State before the Warriors hired Mark Jackson. He's got his work cut out for him.

Larry Brown: Yahoo Sports already brought up this possibility, via an executive. Brown might be great for DeMarcus Cousins with his brutal, intense ways. It also might detonate. Brown has experience (there's the understatement of the year) and brings a high-value name to the project. But Brown is also renown for crushing the souls and dreams of young guards. Let's see. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette... yeah, this is like an execution line of hope under Brown. Brown's also 71, so he's not a long-term solution. He's also going to want more organizational control than GM Geoff Petrie is willing to surrender.

Don Nelson: Fast guards that don't play defense and a mercurial, angry forward? What could possibly go wrong here for Nelson? Nelson would likely want more control as well, and is no spring chicken either. But man would that team be fun to watch. This idea's already been floated by the Mercury News

Mike D'Antoni: See, it's a jump-to-conclusions mat! This one's out there, but it makes so much sense from a strategy standpoint. Say D'Antoni gets scapegoated (already happening) in New York because his front office listened to a former GM that wrecked their franchise and gave up the farm for a high-usage small forward who stuggles with anything except shooting out of ISO sets and rebounding. D'Antoni lands in Sacramento. Warmer weather. An explosive big man who's a bit of an enigma. Multiple players with liquid position skills. And a shoot-first undersized guard. Come on now. You want to watch this. Even a little. This has about zero percent chance of happening, but the idea was so good I couldn't resist listing it.

Phil Jackson: Haha, just kidding.

Mario Elie: Another Kings coach. Elie is popular with the players though, and has a longer history with the team. This is pretty unlikely given the team passing him over once, but if Smart is sent out at season's end after Westphal, Elie might be promoted.

Brian Shaw: The man many felt should have gotten the job in Los Angeles might want the chance to go after his old team. Shaw is a players' coach, which might be just what the Kings need. If he were to want to put the triangle in place, though, run as fast as humanly possible.

Quin Snyder: Snyder worked under the Spurs system in Austin as the Spurs' D-League coach, then as an assistant in Philadelphia under Doug Collins and this season as an assistant for Mike Brown and the Lakers. He's a development coach who can get through to players and has had nothing but good marks since his departure from Missouri. Plus Kings fans could get wigs of the hair, which is fun.

Posted on: December 11, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 6:08 pm
 

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers



By Matt Moore
 

In life, you can often times connect every event as a consequence of a previous one. Whether by a confluence of factors or as direct result of a single act, one thing leads to another, put simply. But in the NBA it's even more so. There are only so many teams, only so many players, only so many ways to play basketball. The same coaches go through the cycles, the same front office officials, Kurt Thomas is on his ninth basketball team.

We're reminded of this when we start to examine the ramifications of what happened in the failed trade for Chris Paul by the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-way deal with the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets. Attempts to revive the deal broke down Saturday night, and the fallout has been catastrophic for all three teams.

But perhaps most relevant is what happened has happened to the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems every year prior to the season there's talk of drama and this year is no exception. It was supposed to be quick and painless. Trade the star power forward that brought the Lakers two titles, Pau Gasol. Trade the enigmatic and complicated, but ultimately brilliant combo-forward Lamar Odom who has been the glue of the team for years to New Orleans. Done. But when the trade was denied by the league in what many describe as an outrage, it created a whole bucket of awkward.

Odom was happy in Los Angeles. It needs to be noted that he blossomed in LA under very specific circumstances. Phil Jackson was the calm, soothing voice he needed, Kobe Bryant the harsh glare to keep him in line. LA's Hollywood environment netted him a celebrity wife, complete with reality TV show, and commercial success. Warm weather, more money, the life of the party. And he got to compete for championships without having to be "the man." It was perfect. So to find out the team he'd help win two titles was ditching him, it upset him, and damaged his relationship with the team beyond repair.

ESPN reported Sunday night that Odom requested a trade Friday night when the deal was initially rejected, and then reiterated that desire Saturday after thinking it over for 24 hours. In short, the attempt to trade Odom to a lottery team hurt the Sixth Man of the Year beyond repair. The bridge was burned. Faced with that, the Lakers reacted in a most-unusual manner. They traded him to the team that eliminated them from the playoffs.

The deal to Dallas Nets them nearly nothing, a simple traded player exception which they'll try and switch in another deal, presumably. But reports out of L.A. describe the trade as a pure "salary dump" based on Odom's wishes. This was a championship team. They were two-time reigning champs, who ran into a red-hot Mavericks team, and hit a cold streak. They could have been as much a contender for the West as any team in the league, especially with Dallas absent Tyson Chandler.

Now, they're a chemistry-set gone wrong.

Odom was going to be a major trade asset. The TPE is good, but it's complicated to use in deals and has to fit certain requirements. So now the Lakers have Pau Gasol who's grateful to still be in Los Angeles but still hurt by the decision to move him. Furthermore, Kobe Bryant's involvement here is key. Bryant said he did not approve of the trade. So either the Lakers failed to discuss either decision with Bryant, which is blowing up the championship core, or they did, in which case Gasol now knows Bryant was willing to throw away his sidekick for CP3.

Have we mentioned that the Lakers' employ a man named Metta World Peace?

The Lakers are obviously still gaming for Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, or both. But the impact of the league's intervention in a trade that was agreed to has levied a change in their makeup, one that could have devastating effects for the favorite son of the league. It's rare you find this, but the league may have dealt a severe blow to the Lakers, who are often considered sheltered by the league due to their popularity and profitability.

The Lakers went into the playoffs last season confident that their regular-season step-back was nothing more than the cost of the drag of the season, that they were more than ready to win the title for a third team, completing Phil Jackson's fourth three-peat and giving Kobe Bryant his sixth title to tie Michael Jordan. Eight months later, they're a fractured locker room with an uncertain future, simultaneously going two different directions, and trying to recover from the reality that their Sixth Man of the Year is now playing for their biggest conference rival.

The drama in L.A. is always high. But the league's decision to either exercise its right as an owner or overstep its boundaries as a caretaker role in overriding Dell Demps' deciison-making (depending on your opinion) means that they're facing the biggest challenge since they traded for Pau Gasol. Once again, it's lights, camera action at Staples, and the locker-room drama could bring an end to a dominant decade-plus from the league's most iconic franchise.
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:40 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 12:00 am
 

Shaq: Phil Jackson 'may come back' to coach again

Posted by Ben Golliverphil-shaq

One recently retired NBA legend thinks another recently retired NBA legend might not actually be done for good.

The New York Daily News reports that Shaquille O'Neal -- center on three title-winning Los Angeles Lakers teams coached by Phil Jackson -- thinks the Zen Master might have at least one more round of meditations left in him.

Jackson, of course, is currently retired but it is already being speculated that the Hall of Fame coach will resurface with the Knicks next season. Current Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni is in the final year of his contract with the club.

"He may come back," O'Neal said of Jackson. "Phil says he's never coming back but he changed my NBA career. His focus and the way he did things and the way he taught us how to do things. He did it on a cool, calm respectable level. Then I went to Miami and we had problems with all the (yelling). I'm like 'we just won three out of four with this guy (Jackson) so why would I do it this way?’ That's why we had problems."

The timing of Jackson's retirement this summer was no accident. He made it clear throughout last season that he had no stomach for the NBA's labor saga, and he struggled to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to hot-button issues like contraction and revenue sharing. That he would retire to the Montana wilderness just as commissioner David Stern and National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter were sharpening their pencils and elbows in preparation for legal war wasn't much of a surprise. That his Lakers team embarrassed itself with dirty play during the 2011 playoffs only removed the possibility of any second-guessing, especially with the core group appearing to have crested after back-to-back titles.

We know this for sure: Jackson is only coming back to coach a serious title contender with sufficient starpower already in place. He's old enough, at 66, and decorated enough, with 11 rings as a coach, that he need not settle for anything short of a perfectly laid table.

Because there's nothing else to do in this lockout wasteland, surveying the likely future perennial title contenders that would fit Phil's bill leaves only a short list: the Lakers, the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks.

The Lakers are unlikely to do an about face after committing to new coach Mike Brown. It's a long way from Hollywood to the Oklahoma dust bowl, so the Thunder can be eliminated immediately. The Bulls are currently in a honeymoon period with coach Tom Thibodeau, leaving the Heat and the Knicks as the two most obvious targets. The Heat like Erik Spoelstra, though, and South Beach is Pat Riley's domain. It's difficult to imagine there's room for the egos of both Riley and Jackson in the same city at the same time.

By process of elimination that leaves the Knicks, newly empowered with All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, but sporting a head coach in Mike D'Antoni who only cares about offense and has been on a hot -- or at least warm -- seat for the last year or two. For now, New York's roster isn't sufficiently talented to make Jackson, himself a title-winning Knicks player, rush back to the NBA. But throw in Chris Paul and a few quality role players, and an empire state of mind for Jackson starts to seem more plausible.

That's a lot of ifs, though, especially during a nuclear winter. The smart money is on Jackson, who has battled hip problems for years, staying retired for good. Indeed, if you had to put money on who would make a comeback first, O'Neal or Jackson, the answer would be Shaq in a runaway. As his incessant book promotion recentlly illustrates, O'Neal is having some trouble letting go of the spotlight.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Brian Shaw opens up about not getting Lakers gig

Posted by Royce Young



When Phil Jackson stuck to his guns and actually retired, most everyone saw the next man in line to lead the Lakers as Brian Shaw. I mean, he already had Kobe Bryant's stamp of approval. What more do you need?

Evidently, a whole lot.

Shaw spoke with Sports Illustrated in a wonderful extended piece about his path to finding a spot next to Frank Vogel in Indiana as an associate head coach. And it's fairly fascinating. He talked about Phil Jackson's advice about interviewing for jobs, why he thinks he didn't get the Laker job and then there's the part where Larry Bird called the triangle offense "bulls---." Good stuff.
"I talked to him last week," Shaw said of Jackson. "I said to him, 'I never realized how many detractors you have out there.' Because when I go out on head-coaching interviews and if I mention the word 'triangle,' it makes general managers and owners cringe. They don't want to hear about the triangle offense, they don't want to hear about Phil Jackson. It was funny, even when I came here and I sat down with them, jokingly Larry was like, 'I don't want to hear anything about that triangle bull----.' And that's kind of the attitude that everybody has."
I sat here for a solid 10 minutes trying to figure out why it would be bad for Shaw to name-drop Jackson in an interview. Because he's got 11 NBA titles? Because he coached Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant? Because most would consider him one of, if not THE top professional sports coach ever? Yeah, don't mention you tutored under that guy. Shaw, continuing:
"Phil let me know going into the interview [with the Lakers] for me to almost disassociate myself from him, that anything that I said about him or the triangle system would hurt me because of his lack of relationship with Jimmy Buss," Shaw said. "So when I did interview, that was the point that I tried to make about the fact that I had played for Phil only my last four years, and that I played for all of these other coaches."

The picture is beginning to clear. More Shaw:

"There were some things that were said that I won't really get into," Shaw said. "It was kind of bashing Phil Jackson, that I just refused to just sit and listen to. And that's when I said, 'Hey, I love Phil Jackson. I appreciate everything that we've all been able to accomplish under him. We've all prospered since he's been the coach here.'"

Obviously as you might expect, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak pretty much denied the story being that way. Kupchack: "The fact of the matter, in our organization, there are three of us that made the decision. We interviewed several candidates, and Mike's interview was just excellent and we made a choice and decision as a group to pursue Mike Brown. For me to say anything else would not be true."

Kupchak's naturally going to toe the company line, but Shaw made it clear that it wasn't the Laker GM that held things up. It was the new Buss in control.
"The negativity toward Phil didn't come from Mitch," Shaw said. "It was more from Jimmy Buss just doubting some of the decisions he made in terms of how he was handling and running the team and coaching the team on the sidelines, and sitting down instead of getting up. People look at coaches and want them to pace up and down the sidelines and bark instructions to the guys. That's not Phil's demeanor. That was viewed as a negative in my estimation -- but it won him five championships with the Lakers and six with the Bulls, and that was his coaching style when he won, so why was that not acceptable now?"

[...]

"The only issue I ever had with the Lakers' organization and the way things went down was the way I was handled after having given service for 12 years," said Shaw, who served as a Lakers regional scout for one season before joining Jackson's staff. "I didn't get [an answer] for three weeks after they hired Mike Brown. And I was still protecting them, because when reporters were calling me to find out what happened and how did they let you know they were going in a different direction -- they never did let me know. But I wasn't talking to anybody because I didn't want it to appear like it's sour grapes and he's mad because he didn't get the job."
Brian Shaw is definitely head coach material. The Lakers made what appears to be a good hire in Mike Brown. Things work out different ways for different reasons. No matter what, since Shaw didn't get the job he wanted and felt he deserved, he's going to feel there has to be deeper reasons. That's natural for anyone.

Who knows why or how Brown was picked. Was it really because of Phil Jackson? Seems like a really odd reason given Jackson's resume, but there had to be something. The Lakers will hide behind the curtain of "a new direction" and really, that's all they have to say. Because it's probably true.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 8:25 pm
 

Phil Jackson: Lakers fell apart in the clutch

Posted by Ben Golliverphil-jackson

Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has a track record of opening up about his players once he's out the door. Who could forget his 2004 book The Last Season -- which should have been subtitled "Kobe Bryant is a Big Meanie" -- in which he was highly critical of his All-Star guard.

Now that he is officially retired, Jackson is once again able to speak candidly about his former teams and players. And, no surprise, the sharp-tongued coach pulls no punches.

ESPNLA.com reports that Jackson said in a recent interview that the 2010-2011 Lakers, who were swept out of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, were undone by their inability to perform in the big playoff moments.

"There is nothing that could have gone worse for a basketball team than the way we finished our season last year," Jackson said when he joined "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "Struggling with New Orleans ... and going into the next round [against Dallas] we needed everyone to start playing well and we just couldn't find that little magical thing that you always hope you have as a coach, the chemistry that makes a team work well."

"To lose an 18-point lead in the first game [against the Mavericks], not being able to outscore your opponent on your home court in the fourth quarter," he said, "to give them life in the very first game of the Dallas series was foreboding what was going to happen to us. We didn't have the ability to play in the clutch like we had in the previous years."
Jackson didn't use the "choke" word but it's certainly there, hovering between the lines. That's one of the heaviest criticisms a respected coach can levy against a veteran, prideful group. 

But this assessment winds up seeming tame when you think back to what really happened during the playoffs. Ron Artest clotheslined J.J. Barea in a remarkably dirty play. Then, Andrew Bynum nearly killed J.J. Barea with the dirtiest play of the year. Who could forget Steve Blake shooting 2-for-12 from downtown against the Mavericks? Then there was Lamar Odom getting wrapped up in a reality show and Pau Gasol no-showing for the postseason amidst rumors about his personal life.  Bryant was dealing with injuries throughout the postseason so he can be forgiven, but his postseason numbers were way down across the board from the 2010 championship run.

From top to bottom, last year's group melted down in a major way. Certainly, they were bad in the clutch, but they were pretty bad in all facets against the more disciplined and focused Mavericks.

None of this is to say that the talented Lakers are a total lost cause. (Well, Blake is likely a lost cause, but that's beside the point.) But they certainly needed a new voice -- which they got in Mike Brown -- and they need to find a new sense of purpose and motivation coming out of the lockout. A fresh start will do wonders. As will a little chip on the shoulder, which Jackson's comments very well might serve to provide.
Posted on: September 12, 2011 9:37 am
Edited on: September 12, 2011 9:42 am
 

Jerry West recounts slights from Phil Jackson

By Matt Moore

Jerry West has a new autobiography coming out, and the San Jose Mercury News has some excerpts and a look at West who recently purchased a small stake of the Warriors and is working as a consultant on the basketball side. Most notable is his description of how Phil Jackson treated the former Laker great when Jackson took over as Lakers head coach:
West says he was definitely troubled by Jackson’s relationship with Jeanie Buss and was put off by much of what Jackson was doing (Jackson’s first year was West’s last with the Lakers).

”So one of the problems I had with Phil was this,” West writes. “His office was right near mine and when he would arrive in the morning, he would walk right past and never even bother to wave or duck his head in to say hello.

“He would later say that he felt the need to stake out his territory, that on top of that he was ’a wack job,’ but I am sure it was more than that.”

West compares Jackson’s attitude to Pat Riley’s reach for more power after winning titles as the Laker coach, but West suggests that Jackson’s display was a colder version to experience.

“Phil and I had no relationship,” West writes. “None. He didn’t want me around and had absolutely no respect for me–of that, I have no doubt.”
via Jerry West on Phil Jackson, Wilt, Kareem, Kobe, Magic and everything : A searing, searching autobiography | Talking Points. 

West goes on to discuss the time when Jackson threw him out of the locker room dismissively. It's a wholly ugly situation that doesn't speak well of Jackson, who so often is discussed as the lovable "Zen Master" despite a long standing history of dismissing and disparaging other coaches, players, and league personnel. For West, it's a window into the hurt he felt over his separation from the Lakers, and puts a pretty big nail in any remaning coffin concerning his possible involvement in the Pau Gasol trade (which occurred after West had left the Grizzlies anyway). 

West is known to be sensitive. He takes things very personally and suffers through the negative events in his life. But the excerpt provides a clearer window into the Lakers' organization and Jackson's acerbic behavior. It also serves, along with a discussion of the deterioration of West's relationship with Jerry Buss, as an example of how the Lakers organization generally throws its history in the garbage pail. Magic Johnson is the rare exception of a player to continue having a good relationship with the team. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Bryan Shaw, the list goes on for people torched by the organization once their usefulness had run its course. It happens a lot in sports. I just happens a lot with the Lakers. Kind of odd for arguably the greatest franchise in sports. 

Then again, the Lakers did just give him his own statue outside Staples Center. So things can't be that bad. 


 
 
 
 
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