Saturday, November 27, 2010

Phil Jackson - Musings of a Sage

Amusing how Phil Jackson creates a stir and knows exactly how a hornet's nest responds.

See I'm just guessing here (Unless Erik Spoelstra, Stan Van Gundy AND Jackson are on your speed dial list, you're guessing too). My theory is Jackson is being Jackson, an 11-time champion coach who wants to make life for other coaches this season a little more complicated. The sage is not a saint. Chances are, he'll only be gracious once ring #12 is secure. After all, one doesn't win 11 rings by winning the Mr. Congeniality award 11 times.

In the wild, Jackson is a lone wolf and he lives to agitate the pack. He quotes Tolstoy. He's worked with Jordan and Kobe. He's won with Jordan and Kobe. He smirks like he knows something the rest of the planet doesn't. If I were an NBA head coach, I'll do anything to wipe Jackson's Gandalfish grin off his face. So many real head coaches have tried to do just that. The overaged hippie, one title away from a fourth three-peat, is still beating them all.

Wouldn't hurt to further shake-up an already combustible situation in Miami with a sly comment. Wouldn't hurt to open Stan Van Gundy's old wounds. Ordinarily, Jackson would've dismissed questions about the Heat with a usual "I'll worry about my team, let them worry about theirs" response. But the Heat is no ordinary team. As an adjunct, the Orlando Magic aren't ordinary contenders either. Is it too early to play mind games? For Jackson, chances are, it never is.

So Jackson adds more fuel to the fire. Propriety dictates that coaches refrain from commenting on the situation of other coaches. Former NBA Head Coach and long-time television analyst Mike Fratello condemned Jackson's remarks. Stan Van Gundy described Jackson's opinions as "ignorant". And Spoelstra has less time to worry about some shrewd old man in LA and more pressing problems to address in his own backyard.

I agree. Jackson isn't privy to the chasm in Miami so he can't know everything. I can't agree however to describing his comments as "ignorant". I'm just theorizing like everyone else is. But as NBA history has shown, Jackson's wild hunch (I'll consider Popovich's and Sloan's too) might be more bankable than another coach's educated guess. MH

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