Phil Jackson Postgame Quotes

Phil Jackson’s postgame quotes from what he said will be his final game:

“Well I don’t think I’ve seen a team play to that level in a series in a game like they played this afternoon. They [Dallas] were terrific. I didn’t think we played bad to start the ballgame, but that second quarter it was like the roof fell in on us. I wasn’t happy with the way our players exited the game, on Lamar [Odom’s] and Andrew’s [Bynum’s] part. It was unnecessary, but I know they were frustrated. And Barea was one of the guys that really frustrated us tonight. Other than that the Lakers will have to go back and put it back together, again, to have a team that comes back and challenges next year.”

(Are you stunned that 6 days ago the Lakers were being talked about as the favorite to win the West and her you’re sitting now?) – No, I’m not. I think I told you guys all along that Dallas is a very good team. We had the same record they had during the season. And they played better as a team than we did.”

(Were you worried after New Orleans gave you such a hassle in the first round that this might happen?) – “No, there’s a way we can play that we can win ballgames. We had to play a style that was refined and a pace that was ours. We were able to do that for three-and-half quarters in both the first and the third games in the series, but we weren’t able to finish them off. That’s the difference. Perhaps Dallas is a little deeper team, a little more talented off the bench than we were and it came to bear during the course of these playoffs.”

(Have you coached your final game, if so what are the emotions of the moment?) – “[It] feels really good to be ending this season to be honest with you. I came back this last year with some trepidation. Kobe’s knee was an issue and obviously our team was older. The thrill of trying to chase a three-peat is always an exciting thing. But, yes, I knew it was a big challenge for this team to three-peat. We’ve gone to the Finals and to go back twice and win it after losing ’08 puts a lot of strain on the basketball club from all angles: personalities, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and getting charged up for game after game and assault after assault when you go in and play a team. So, it was a challenge bigger that we could beat this year.”

(And you final game I assume? Was this your last game?) – “I haven’t answered that, have I? And you’re not going to force me to answer it. But, yes, this is in all my hopes and aspirations that this is the final game that I’ll coach. This has been a wonderful run. I go out with a sour note after being fined $35,000 this morning by the league, so that’s not fun having a feeling like I’ve been chased down the freeway by them. But as Richard Nixon says, ‘You won’t be able to kick this guy around anymore.’”

(You’re not a sentimental guy, but what did you tell the guys in the locker room right now?) – “That we’re disappointed in the way we finished the game. We wanted to have a good game. I didn’t like the way Andrew and Lamar finished like I mentioned just now. We ran into a buzz saw today. Sometimes you can’t get a win. You’d like to have an opportunity to challenge but we didn’t.”