It must be that time of the season for Lakers' coach Phil Jackson. This seems to be the point of his cycle where he becomes easily irritated with the players on his team, so much so that he feels the need to rip them through the media. Earlier this week we heard Phil calling Vlad-Rad a space cadet, and after last night's loss to Charlotte, Phil chose Kwame Brown as the latest target for his, um, motivational remarks. After Brown had three tunovers in the third overtime, here's what Phil had to say:
"We're going to feed him Butterfingers on the flight home just so he can feel the effects of it. There was certainly some disappointment in the ability, or non-ability, of Kwame to complete plays that we thought were big plays for us. His teammates are disappointed. He just has to accept the fact that the next time he gets that chance, he doesn't [fumble]."
Don't you love when the local papers [bracket] a word like that? In this case [fumble] probably was more along the lines of f--- up, which probably wouldn't fly in the L.A. Times. Jackson continued:
"I know Kwame got perplexed out there with the screen-roll and how to play it. He got concerned about some of the things that were happening to him. We tried to help him through that situation."
Normally when Phil calls out one of his players, the response is fairly meager. After all, unless you're Kobe Bryant, retaliating at Phil could adversely affect your minutes, which is the one thing that NBA players are actually fearful of. But Kwame has been Phil's target before. This time, he wasn't afraid to respond to Phil's [fumble] comment, as well as stick it to the coach for not teaching the team how to defend the pick and roll:
"It's sad that you've got to say we won or lost that game over a fumble. The second pass wasn't even catchable.
If you look on tape, we're the worst screen-roll defensive team in the league. No way Emeka Okafor could get three layups at the rim. We don't even rotate. The guy's getting layups at the rim. It's terrible."
Phil Jackson has a history of needling his players now and then, in order to get some long term results out of them. This is two players in one week though, and he may risk alienating some of the role players on the team if he keeps piling on. I would prefer it if Phil would stick to lashing out at the opposition, instead of using the media to attempt to reach his own players.