Archive for the 'Phil Jackson' Category

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Phil Jackson Fined

59957065The NBA announced on Monday that Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials.

NBA Executive Vice President Stu Jackson made the announcement, referring to Jackson’s comments after the Lakers’ Sunday afternoon loss to San Antonio at STAPLES Center.

Jackson’s comments referred to events occurring late in the second quarter when Ron Artest and Manu Ginobili drew matching technicals, Artest a personal foul and finally Kobe Bryant a technical foul.

Jackson gave his team the day off from practice on Monday but will gather the troops on Tuesday in preparation for Thursday evening’s game in Denver.

Lakers – Spurs Pregame

Who better to preview the Lakers – Spurs game than Lakers Coach Phil Jackson?

Below is a portion of Jackson’s comments to assembled media members before the Lakers and Spurs tipped off on Sunday afternoon:

On if any gamesmanship might exist in case the Lakers and Spurs meet up in the playoffs:
Jackson: I think you just try and execute what you can execute. We have emphasis on specific things today. In a playoff situation, we may have emphasis on something else. I probably won’t really use my full court press.

On defensive assignments for Manu Ginobili and George Hill:
Jackson: Hill had a big first quarter and a big first half, and we just kept (Derek) Fish(er) on him in the second half. Ron (Artest) is designated to play Ginobili, and (Ginobili) has been hot regardless of whether he was (when L.A. beat S.A. last week) that particular game or not. He seems to be the provocateur, Hill also. They’re going to run off screens and try to generate offense for other people.

On if Tony Parker (out with a hand injury) will be able to assimilate back into the Spurs team into the playoffs:
Jackson: I see no reason why not. He’s only been there seven years as a player.

On if George Hill is one of the league’s most improved players:
Jackson: Yeah, he’s in the group, I’m sure. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that.

On if it would feel weird to play San Antonio in the first round:
Jackson: No, it would feel very common and very natural to go to San Antonio and spend this part of the year in San Antonio, which is always one of my favorite towns … But I don’t think (seeding) matters once you get into the playoffs. It’s just seeding. You’re in the playoffs, you’re in the mix.

On if he’d rest players when L.A. clinches the No. 1 seed in the West:
Jackson: No. I would not rest players. There is an opportunity to rest somebody at some point, I may do it, but this game following this one against Denver I think is an important game to play, I think Sunday’s game against Portland is an important game for us to play hard, and we know we have a back-to-back finish where I’ll probably shorten minutes if that’s possible.

Phil Jackson Pre-Atlanta

The highlights of a lively pre-Atlanta Phil Jackson, featuring details about an informal practice on Tuesday, the matchup with the Hawks, Pau Gasol being “very tough” but not “very, very tough” and more.

On how he and the team is feeling heading into the team’s fifth game in eight days:
Jackson: One of the things we talk about is that you pack your bags but don’t get yourself home before the game’s even started.

On not having a full practice* on Tuesday, an off day in Atlanta.
*Jackson later explained that certain players did in fact practice, it just wasn’t a full team workout.
Jackson: There’s a lot that goes into it … I’d like to discuss it with you, but I won’t. It’s not top secret, but it’s among us.

On putting Ron Artest on Joe Johnson, since Artest had success against him in November when L.A. beat the Hawks at home.
Jackson: (Artest) wants to (start on Johnson). I let (Kobe Bryant and Artest) work it out because it depends on who is guarding whom. If they put Joe on Kobe, he’s going to be matched up with him a lot of times. But otherwise, if it’s a cross match, it will work out fine.

On if he agrees with Gasol’s statement to a reporter that Gasol is “very, very tough.”
Jackson: I think two very’s is too many. He’s very tough. Not two very’s.

On if Gasol is so smart that he can be harder to reach with a message from Jackson:
Jackson: Well yesterday in our little discussion we had, I did say that he took the bait. The other night I told him how he can’t get good post up positions on (New Orleans center Emeka) Okafor, and (Okafor’s) always had good games against him, and (Gasol) scores the first 12 points in the quarter. Of those times, he looked at the bench five of the six times. So obviously he (listens). I did tell him, ‘You don’t have to look over to the bench, you should know by now what motivation is and you should be able to do that for yourself.

On if Kobe and Pau suffered from a lack of help in New Orleans:
Jackson: One of the reasons that we went over to practice yesterday with just a few players – it was not an official practice, obviously we didn’t have the full team – was to digest a little bit of what happened when we came back in the game in the third quarter, how we played. The starters got us back in the game after being down a significant amount in the first half. When you have to come back like that, you have to really kind of reign it in, and we’ve had to do that numbers of times this year. We came down and a couple of times took 3-point shots, those shots turned into non-successful attempts, as a result put ourselves back into a whole again. We wanted to talk a little bit about not being desperate; you have the dominance, just keep weighing in on a team and keep pounding them down until they crumble, instead of making it look like we’re settling for home run shots or hero shots.

On if the bench being outscored in a big way in New Orleans bothers him:
Jackson: It makes me want to throw up sometimes. It just doesn’t make any sense. They played three guys off the bench, they had success. We have kind of sculpted out what the bench does, and they fulfilled our prophecy, our worst fears. It’s an area where we really have been emphasizing coming out and playing a little better.

On the importance of tonight’s game:
Jackson: I told them they can redeem the trip by winning this game.

On Luke Walton and Andrew Bynum:
Jackson: Luke wants to play in this Sunday’s game, wants to go through a practice (first) and play; we haven’t gotten a definitive time for Andrew yet. We’re hoping that next week is kind of a break through and he’s capable of playing by week’s end. It’s been 10 days and could be another 10.

Phil Jackson Postgame Reaction

Since the Lakers aren’t practicing on Tuesday in Atlanta, lets revisit Phil Jackson’s postgame comments from New Orleans Arena after L.A.’s 108-100 loss to the Hornets:

On the game: “I told the guys I didn’t like the first half, obviously, the bench couldn’t get things going in the second quarter and they got a distant lead. We came back right after the start of the third quarter but we couldn’t sustain. They picked it up a little bit, got some blocked shots and created some turnovers and got a little advantage there after we got back in the ballgame. They just stepped up to a level that we didn’t reach.”

On Kobe Bryant: “He was getting double and triple-teamed, and he was getting the ball out to guys for shots and we just didn’t shoot the two-point shot well at all. We had a couple here and a couple there. We weren’t consistent at all.”

On the trouble with three-pointers: “It’s all well and good to get the ball swung, but if you are not making the three you have to go back inside and you have to penetrate off the dribble. That was the message. And there are nights you are not going to shoot the three-ball well so that was it.”

If you’d prefer the video, click below:

Post Hornets Part I

Post Hornets Part II

Phil Jackson on Potential 2010-11 Return

Lakers CoachesPrior to L.A.’s Friday evening road game in Oklahoma City, Phil Jackson addressed reporter’s questions about a possible return to coach the Lakers next season.

Here’s a transcript from the pregame media session:

Q: On his he’s made a decision about next season, or if he’s leaning one way or the other:
Jackson: No. There’s no decision. No leaning at all. I’m leaning against the wall.

Q: On if the odds have gone up since he’s feeling better health wise:
Jackson: Well, health wise it’s fine. Odds wise, I serve at the behest of the Buss family. Jeanie I serve all the time … but (right now) I’m serving this basketball club as a coach.

Q: On revisiting the issue after the season:
Jackson: I think it’s the best way to approach it right now. Where this team is, the way it’s built, the way we’ve been going along this season, the direction the NBA is going right now. A lot of these things fit together.

Q: On how winning this year could affect his decision:
Jackson: If we win it’s almost imperative that (I) give it another shot, but that’s a lot of ‘if’s’ in there. Winning is a really big (challenge). There are four playoff (series) that you have to get through before you can say that ‘We won’ and then have a chance to do something special again, unique. So, that’s a long shot.

Q: On why winning has a lot to do with it:
Jackson: Yeah, I think how we make it through the year has a lot to do with it. Dr. Buss put some things on the line by resigning Lamar (Odom). Some of it is financial … the team has never lost money since he took over, so yeah it’s a big part of it. I pushed him to sign Lamar, and we all said (that) we have to have this guy back. We put this team in jeopardy as far as financially, but at a time when it’s tough in this league (Dr. Buss) took the step.

Q: On if health or finances were an issue for him:
Jackson: Neither one.

Q: On if he’d take a pay cut:
Jackson: A pay cut can come in all different forms … there are some ways around that. I think we can find a way to make that work.

Q: On his health being improved over last year:
Jackson: Yeah, I’ll do a whole physical checkup at the end of the year and I’ll make a decision. It’s pretty easy. It’ll go pretty quick. Two day thing and I’ll be back, see what happens.

Jackson Talks Bynum

Before Sunday’s game against Washington, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson answered a few questions about Andrew Bynum and his Achilles tendon strain.

Here’s the gist:

Q: On moving forward in the short term:
Jackson: I think we’re ready to move forward. This is a team that is more of a speed team (now). We increase the volume of shots, we increase the tempo of the game we play. It will be a lot different team. We’ll play outside-inside a little bit more than (when) Andrew (is playing).

Q: On if the Lakers will be able to adjust back to how they were playing before Bynum got hurt when he gets back:
Jackson: I think so. I think this team has adjusted and (is) adaptable to (having) Andrew in and out of the lineup in the last three years so we can do that.

Q: On being optimistic about his return (Bynum is set to be reevaluated in one week):
Jackson: The best thing I heard today is the fact that he felt better from day one to day two.

Jackson also explained that the toughest part of the injury is that Bynum will have trouble staying in the same cardiovascular shape he was in since the Achilles injury limits his activity level until it’s better.

Phil Jackson Pre-Dallas

Phil Jackson addressed assembled media before realizing that Caron Butler would not play in Wednesday night’s game due to a temporary reaction to some medicine that he took, so his answer (on video above) to the first question won’t apply to this game.

In response to a quesiton about Odom’s poor game on Tuesday in Memphis, Jackson declared that his versatile sub would be fine and that he isn’t someone the coaching staff worries about. “We don’t worry that much about Lamar,” he said. “He’s a pro and he knows how to get himself ready.” Jackson added that Odom isn’t like a Jason Terry, J.R. Smith or Manu Ginobili where quick offense might be available since Odom isn’t a quick-offense guy; in other words, sometimes he needs some time to get into the flow of the game.

The head coach also addressed how having Gasol, who didn’t play against Dallas last time the teams met, changes things particularly as related to Dirk Nowitzki. Jackson said that Gasol has shown the ability to guard him at times, but at others he hasn’t liked what he’s seen.

Jackson’s final note was that Kobe responded just fine to his first game back from injury.

Phil Jackson Pregame Notes

The highlights of Phil Jackson’s seven-minute pregame session with the Lakers media in Memphis (the first minute and change is above on video).

- Jackson noted that among the biggest changes with Kobe Bryant’s return is the minute deduction for Shannon Brown, who will have to adjust back to his traditional role off the bench. Brown, however – along with Adam Morrison and Josh Powell – could see a few more minutes in the absence of Sasha Vujacic (shoulder) and Luke Walton (back).

- The major theme of our preview of tonight’s contest was LA’s need to get the ball into the paint, something they didn’t do in the two-point Memphis win on Feb. 1. Jackson brought that idea up almost right away, suggesting that the “Get the ball inside!” mantra has to happen immediately. The game plan is very explicitly to attack Memphis from the inside out.

Later, he expounded on the issue:

We looked at the tape from last game, and a few guys noticeably were not making the second effort. Our big guys … Andrew missed a dunk at the basket … we turned the ball over (passing it to the post), post players turned it over when we got there … there were just a lot of things that contributed to that. We got offensive fouls. So that’s some of the reason that it happened like that, we hope to remedy that (tonight).

- Andrew Bynum said in the locker room that his hip continues to bother him, but he essentially has learned how to play through it. Jackson said that he continues, of course, to be aware of the injury, but that Bynum has looked fine to him in practice.

- On Pau Gasol’s play at his old home: “I think it really has affected him coming back and playing. Maybe it’s playing against his brother. He hears the rabble out there in the crowd and he is somewhat affected. He hasn’t played as well as he plays for us in a normal situation against Memphis.”

- Jackson credited Ron Artest’s addition to LA’s improved overall defense (second in the NBA) at this point in the season. He rightly pointed out that Trevor Ariza really didn’t emerge until late in the season, as Vladimir Radmanovic and Luke Walton started for much of the year at small forward. The head coach also explained that Ariza wasn’t a 35-minute a night guy, as Artest is, which certainly affects the overall defensive production.

- That Cleveland lost three straight wasn’t a huge deal to Jackson, who said things will get interesting more in the last two weeks of the season than now. He did acknowledge that Cleveland has the easier schedule going forward, obviously because they’re in the weaker Eastern Conference.

- The Grizzlies didn’t have rookie swing man Sam Young available last game, but got a surprising career-high 13 points from unknown Lester Hudson, who received DNPCD’s in the last two Memphis games.

Monday’s Practice Update

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson met with reporters for the first time after the All-Star break on Monday in L.A. after a full session that included participation from Kobe Bryant (ankle) and Andrew Bynum (hip), both of whom are expected to play against Golden State on Tuesday.

Thanks to 710 ESPN’s Beto Duran, who provided the audio as was en route from All-Star in Dallas, here is a synopsis of Jackson’s comments:

- For starters, here are Phil’s comments after a question about if he were satisfied with how Bryant moved around: “I think so. He hasn’t played in two weeks, so there (were) a lot of things that he was trying out, trying to figure out, passes that went awry and shots he was reluctant to shoot. But he’ll come (along). He’ll come.

- The head coach said that the Mavericks trade with the Wizards improved Dallas, giving them more depth in the front court through Brendan Haywood and another scorer in Butler. “I think they helped themselves in that trade” was the quote. However, as Jackson elaborated, the move doesn’t really affect the Lakers or the team’s potential activity or lack there of around the trade deadline.

- Overall, the practice didn’t please Jackson, who said that the players looked like they’d jut gotten out of school or knew that recess was coming. That’s natural, however, after a layoff, and he thinks the team will be fine to go against Golden State on Tuesday.

- Luke Walton’s back injury will keep him out for an indefinite amount of time, though Jackson hopes to have him back sometime later in the season. He mentioned more potential minute for players like Sasha Vujacic, who changed the game in Utah (said Phil), and Adam Morrison.

- The team’s focus: “I put four games up on the board (Golden State, Boston, Memphis and Dallas), and we want to stay focused on short term right now,” said Jackson. Of course, gaining home court advantage and staying healthy are always key areas of focus.

Phil Jackson: Lakers All-Time Win King

59491045On Monday evening in Memphis, Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson revealed the results of an aptitude test put on by the NBA Player’s Association that he took after retiring as a player:

- Outdoor adventurer
- Nursery school teacher
- Lawyer
- Minister

Thank goodness for the Lakers – and the Chicago Bulls, for that matter – that he decided to become a basketball coach.

When the Lakers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-97 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Jackson won his 534th game for the Purple and Gold, surpassing Showtime era coach Pat Riley for the most wins in franchise history.

“It’s been a really good run,” said Jackson, who has claimed four of his 10 NBA titles with the Lakers. “Having this opportunity to coach this team is special. The fact that we’ve had some great teams, great players, is always a credit to them.

“My staff, the guys who help me prepare this team for the games … all those ingredients going into this. It’s not really an individual record in my mind, it’s a team (accomplishment).”

After victory No. 534, Lamar Odom was asked what it’s been like to play for the league’s top coach in terms of both championships and winning percentage.

“Incredible,” said Odom. “Every day I learn something new. He understands people, personalities. Meshing them together is a big deal in basketball.”

That Jackson passed Riley is particularly interesting since the two entered the NBA together as players in 1967, and coached against each other throughout the 1990′s.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” said Jackson. “We competed against each other in a lot of ways, so there’s some significance to that. I respect his game tremendously and his coaching style too, so that’s something that I take with pride.”

Jackson concluded that while he’ll take the wins, the true measure of a coach and a team is championships won. His only goal for this season, of course, is to help claim title number 16 for the Lakers.