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Phil Jackson plays the pot calling kettle black

Feb 27, 2010, 4:59 PM EDT

In 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers completed one of the most one-sided trades in the history of the league, sending Kwame Brown and what was, at that point, complete unknown Marc Gasol to the Memphis Grizzlies (along with Javaris Crittenton…yeah) for franchise player Pau Gasol. Coaches and league personnel were flabbergasted at the questionable nature of the trade between the Lakers and the team formerly managed by Jerry West, who you may recall was a Lakers’ great (there is no known connection with West in the deal, but it’s interesting nonetheless).

But in a league with the cap structure the NBA has, you’re going to see moves which are financially motivated in which the players the worse team receives are completely irrelevant. It would appear, though, that the Lakers’ head coach isn’t a big fan when it isn’t his team that gets a game-changing component.

In an interview with FanHouse’s Chris Tommasson, Phil Jackson called the “loophole” which is allowing Zydrunas Ilgauskas to re-sign with the team he’s been with his entire career a ‘sham’ and ‘charades.’

“It’s a sham of sorts to make that kind of trade. You’re not really
trading a player. You’re just trading a money situation. It’s a sham,
and I think it’s a disrespect for the league and the players to be
involved in this type of a thing.”

Okay, Phil. Got it. It’s totally fine for your team to take advantage of teams needing to clear cap space, but not anyone else. Got it.

It’s still difficult to see what the problem is with this setup. Ilgauskas has been with Cleveland his whole career, and gets to return. We have a contender that got stronger. The Wizards saved a ton of money and have the ability to restart their franchise and maybe build towards contention. This trade was not bad for the league. It was only bad for those who are competing with Cleveland for a championship. And they’re not really in a position to be objective, just as Greg Popovich wasn’t with the Gasol trade.

Maybe Jackson should focus more on pulling the lifeless corpse of Derek Fisher into something resembling a point guard in time for the playoffs.

UPDATE: Apparently I did a piss poor job of explaining things, so let’s take another crack at this. The Gasol trade and the Ilgauskas trade were quite clearly different because Ilgauskas came back to the Cavs, whereas Kwame Brown, vital component that he is, did not. The difference there is assumed.

But what Jackson is complaining about is not the loophole. He’s complaining about “just trading a money situation.” Which is precisely why the Memphis trade went through. At the time, Marc Gasol was nothing more than a throw-in. The major component was cap space for the Grizzlies. And further more, if it benefited the Lakers to do a trade of this type, they would do it, just the same as Doc Rivers, Greg Popovich, or any team in the league would.

The point is not that the trades were identical in function, but in formula.

  1. medicare supplement - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

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  2. Anonymous - Feb 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    what goes around comes around and its hilarious that for once the lakers are not the ones benefiting and finally cleveland gets a break

  3. cavs fan - Feb 28, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    what you dont understand is with getting z back is no different than some of the other teams have done and ive never heard any one complain before so dont get all scary now phil because the cavs are going all the way this year

  4. iLAKERS - Feb 28, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Matt Moore is a clueless moron and a laker hater!

  5. Drew - Feb 28, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    “Matt Moore is a clueless moron and a laker hater” says iLAKERS. I always love these snappy one-liners and no evidence.
    This is just sour grapes from Phil Jackson. It’s true, teams do this all the time when making trades. It’s not like Cleveland swindled the Wizards. Washington is rebuilding and the Cavs are building towards a title. What’s wrong with that? The Celtics got two of the “Big 3” by trading away scrubs (plus a respectable Al Jefferson). And he’s right, that’s exactly what the Lakers did. It takes two teams to agree on a trade. How is it a sham?

  6. asdf - Feb 28, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Do you guys actually read the article or listen to the interview that Matt Moore is referring to or do you guys just take his word for it?
    Nice try in updating your post, but you are absolutely wrong. Trades involving the “loophole” are EXACTLY what Phil Jackson is complaining about. Why do you think the rest of the follow-up questions in that interview are centered around possible solutions to keep the traded player from returning to the team that traded him and NOT about anything regarding cap space?
    You cherry picked the one line in his entire statement (“just trading a money situation.”) that supports your post. Every other thing Phil says points to the fact that what he thinks is a “sham” is the part of a trade that involves the “loophole.”
    Whether Phil Jackson or the Lakers would take advantage of this loophole or not is irrelevant. Matt Moore’s post is based entirely on Phil Jackson having a problem with trades that clear a team’s cap space — which is completely incorrect.
    Phil Jackson has spoken openly about the recent trade between the Mavericks and Wizards and hasn’t expressed having any problems with their trade despite it clearly benefiting a Western Conference contender. The major component for this trade was also to clear cap space as the Wizards had the same motivation in making this trade with Dallas as it did in the trade with Cleveland. The main difference in the trade with the Wizards and Mavericks is that the loophole was not taken advantage of. Why would Phil Jackson not complain after being asked about the Mavs/Wiz trade and then complain about the Cavs/Wiz trade one question later if it was just because he had a problem with it involving money and cap space?
    There have been many trades where the major component has been cap space and the Lakers have been involved in several of them throughout the years. Phil Jackson has never complained about any of these.
    The fact that you would update your post and assert that Phil Jackson isn’t complaining about the “loophole” and is only complaining about teams “just trading a money situation” and for cap space is erroneous and irresponsible.

  7. Tyson F. Gautreaux - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Love the blog, i found you via google and will be bookmarking you right now.
    oh you can usally catch me over at bontrade

  8. Anonymous - Mar 3, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    That’s funny…especially when the Cavs beat you by nearly 20 points in December….WITHOUT Jamison.

  9. TameraBoyer - May 24, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    If you are willing to buy real estate, you would have to get the loan. Furthermore, my father all the time uses a car loan, which seems to be really fast.

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