Phil Jackson hasn't said much publicly since he was passed over for the Lakers' coaching job in favor of Mike D'Antoni. And he did not use a 60-minute conversation over breakfast last week to launch fusillades against the Lakers. But he did have some comments about the Lakers and a few other things, too.
Some of Jackson's comments appeared in a
Jackson wasn't wearing any of his 11 coaching rings on this morning (he also has two as a player from the Knicks), but the subject came up because his book coming out in May is titled
Note that the interview took place while Dr. Jerry Buss was still alive and in the hospital. Certainly I would've asked Jackson something about the legacy of Dr. Buss, who hired him (twice) and is the father of his longtime companion, and now fiancée, Jeanie Buss, who runs the Lakers' business operations.
One final thing: Jackson has seven grandchildren, from two other marriages, and gave up the fact that Jeanie now allows herself to be called "Granny."
The easiest one is -- or should be -- the pass. But the new rules allow you to throw more people at post-up players. NBA basketball is a big man's game, and in the past they protected that aspect of the game. Well, those rules went out the window and what they didn't do was consider this: If they're going to continue to allow zone defenses to work and shut down the paint, then they have to put six more seconds on the shot clock. A 30-second clock. But they're so attached to the idea of the 24-second clock that it doesn't happen.
But I do hold out the idea that there's still influence in the game I could have. Red Auerbach, Pete Newell, Wayne Embry, guys like that have had ... a number of people have had considerable influence and haven't been coaches per se.
But coaching is much more than that. It is a spiritual quest. And if it's not that, you don't have a challenge, you don't have a mission. Forming a brotherhood and trying to move it forward, that's the part that I miss.