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Phil Jackson is no Tommy Lasorda in LA

Feb 10, 2010, 9:43 AM EDT

NBA_philjackson.jpgInteresting premise out of Bill “one sentence paragraph” Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times today — that Los Angeles likes, but doesn’t love, Phil Jackson. Not the way they loved Pat Riley or Tommy Lasorda.

He may have mastered Zen, but he has not mastered Los Angeles.

There will be no statue of him outside Staples Center. There might not ever be a night honoring his achievements. There will be very little fanfare when he retires, just as there was very little outcry when he left the team several years ago.

He is not Tom Lasorda. He is not Pete Carroll. He is not Mike Scioscia. He is not the sort of folksy personality that this town expects of its high-profile coaches.

More than anything else, he is not Pat Riley.

More than anything, Jackson is not an easy interview of simplistic personality that makes a columnist’s job easier. He is not bombastic on the sidelines — fans like that because we would want to yell at the players when they screw up and a coach doing that is cathartic for us. We like it when Stan Van Gundy gets sarcastic with the refs and his players.

Phil Jackson is loved in Los Angeles. There may not be the public displays of affection that Carroll and Riley got, but that is because Jackson doesn’t seek them out like those two (with their massive egos). Or Riley for that matter.

That doesn’t mean Jackson isn’t loved. And the reason there was not a crazy outcry over letting Jackson walk from the Lakers the first time was that Shaq had just been traded and Lakers fans were focused on that as anger issue number one.

Phil Jackson is not going to have a statue outside Staples center. But there is no statue of Lasorda outside Dodger Stadium, not one of Carroll outside the Coliseum (it would have been trashed last month anyway) and no statue of Riley anywhere in the city. You don’t build statues to coaches.

And for the record, Plaschke, the very definition of Zen is that you can never truly master it.

  1. wondahbap - Feb 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Oooh…Get him. And Simers too.
    Kurt,
    You should have written this post in one sentence paragraphs just for Plaschke.

  2. Phil - Feb 10, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Plashke is a moron. His finger is never on the pulse of the city…it’s square up his ass.

  3. Don - Feb 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Loved the last line

  4. Jane - Feb 10, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Thanks for clarifying the difference love & PDA, Kurt…

  5. Jane - Feb 10, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Thanks for clarifying the difference between love & PDA, Kurt…

  6. Busboys4me - Feb 10, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    Great article Kurt. Plaschke is clueless about most of what he writes. If he had written Phil is more respected than loved then I might have agreed. Pete and Tommy Boy are rah rah type college guys. You either love them or hate them. Phil is more of a professor. We respect what he says and does, but most of all you admire his knowledge.
    Pat was loved because of his panache, Pete because of his never say die attitude, and Tommy because he trully bleeds blue. Phil will be loved because he brought history and a winning attitude to Los Angeles. Anyone who can’t see that is a real Plasschke.

  7. Busboys4me - Feb 11, 2010 at 5:37 AM

    Great article Kurt. Plaschke is clueless about most of what he writes. If he had written Phil is more respected than loved then I might have agreed. Pete and Tommy Boy are rah rah type college guys. You either love them or hate them. Phil is more of a professor. We respect what he says and does, but most of all you admire his knowledge.
    Pat was loved because of his panache, Pete because of his never say die attitude, and Tommy because he trully bleeds blue. Phil will be loved because he brought history and a winning attitude to Los Angeles. Anyone who can’t see that is a real Plasschke.

  8. Chownoir - Feb 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Plaschke is such a hack. His premises are frequently flawed, his writing is trite and formulaic. I don’t understand why he gets so many accolades. Maybe I was spoiled by growing up with Murray, Malamud and Ostler in the LA Times sports pages. But having Plaschke on there is a shining symbol of the decline in the quality and standards of writing.
    One of the more unfortunate fallout of The National experiment was how Ostler was lured from the LA Times. After The National folded, Times stupidly never hired Ostler back and he went to San Francisco instead. I don’t read him online regularly but when I do, it seems like his writing is sharp as ever.
    Can someone engineer a trade to get Ostler back to writing about LA sports and send Plaschke up to SF?

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