Phil Jackson Surprised ABC Broadcast His Huddle Remarks
With the Celtics leading, the Lakers' coach sought to motivate his team by saying that Boston "loses more games in the fourth quarter than any team in the league. They know how to lose games, and they're showing us that now.''
As it turned out, Boston won, 92-86. And Jackson wasn't enthralled his comments were broadcast nationally on ABC, which airs snippets from team huddles but uses discretion on what to show.
"I was surprised it was broadcast, too,'' Jackson said after Tuesday morning's shoot-around in preparation for the evening Game 6 at the Staples Center. "But I was just quoting a stat that was given to me by my scouts, and was giving the guys encouragement to finish the game out.''
Jackson didn't believe the remark would fire up the Celtics.
"Do they need any more motivation than this?'' asked Jackson, whose team trails 3-2. "The Finals are enough motivation.''
USA Today contacted STATS, which used statistics to dispute what Jackson said. The Celtics lost 13 times in the regular season when they led in the fourth quarter, which was said to not even rank in the top 10 and was 10 behind Washington's NBA-leading total.
"What's the difference?'' Jackson said when asked if he had hoped his remark would have remained private. "If what I had been given was true, it's true. And they were having a hard time scoring.''
After Game 5, Paul Pierce shrugged off Jackson's remark about the Celtics having lost late leads.
"You know, he's right,'' Pierce cracked. "That's been the truth for us throughout the regular season.''
Maybe it wasn't. But Pierce mostly was glad the Celtics didn't blow the lead Sunday.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson