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Phil Jackson has a 'Machine' problem

Mar 31, 2010, 7:11 PM EDT

Sasha Vujacic doesn’t matter. Let’s be clear on that. He was marginally okay two season ago during the Lakers run to the Finals, and was subsequently abused in all sorts of ways by Ray Allen. He regressed back to form last year, and has stayed about there. He’s a streak shooter that picks up too many fouls, has poor decision making skills, and struggles to understand his role. He even has an annoying full-court defense attempt that I’m fairly certain has never generated a turnover.

So naturally, he’s having trouble with his coach.

Phil Jackson today told reporters that Vujacic is out of the rotation on account of his attitude, particularly a “little run-in” with the coaching staff during the criminal act the Thunder put on the Lakers last Friday. Vujacic said he has no idea what Jackson’s talking about, which is code for “if I apologize then the spotlight’s off of me.”

Distractions from bench players that aren’t really a part of the core of the team is an example of the nonsense Jackson’s been dealing with this season. It hasn’t been too bad, Lord knows Ron Artest could have been much worse. But Jackson’s got bigger issues than the complaints of Vujacic. It’s more likely that Jackson’s sending a message to the club that discipline is needed. It wouldn’t be the first time Jackson has used the doghouse as a motivational tool for the other players.

Then again, he better be careful. You don’t want to anger the Machine.

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