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Phil Jackson talks in a Zen way about new Lakers

Oct 5, 2012, 5:12 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One Getty Images

What Phil Jackson did as a coach better than any coach ever was get players to believe in their roles. Not simply just know, but fully and totally believe in that role and its place in the team dynamic. He often did it by guidance and letting the players discover this for themselves — the lessons you learn that way rather than have explained to you stick.

If you think that is easy, look at the track records of other coaches who have won titles and tried to win multiple with the same group.

So it should be no shock that when Jackson went on ESPNRadio in Chicago and was asked about these Lakers, he talked in terms of blending Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant together. Thanks to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times for the transcription.

“It’s finding a role that each player can move towards and be comfortable in,” Jackson said. “I think that’s how you want to feel. You want Steve to have the ability to have the ball with confidence that he is doing the right thing and feeling like he can run the team and getting the ball to Kobe in critical situations is important because that’s what his best role is standing out in the moments of crisis or the moments that are critical. And the inclusion that you have to have to make Howard feel a part of it. So all those guys have to find a little role….

“(Nash) is a guy that can kinda make it easier for Howard to be a player inside,” Jackson said. “As Pau can move around in the post and move up to the high post and he can be an outside defender that can help out in a variety of screen-roll activities that maybe Howard might get himself in foul trouble having to defend all the time. So they’ll be able to do a lot of things with a more mobile and quicker Pau Gasol. This is a team that you have to find an offense that is going to work and include everybody because Kobe dominates the ball and Steve Nash dominates the ball.”

What Jackson is pointing out will be one of the keys for the Lakers this season — Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard are two of the best pick-and-roll defending big men in the game and that is going to make it tough on other teams that live and die by that play.

If Phil Jackson were in charge of this team, is there any doubt they would blend together?

Can Mike Brown do that? If this were a younger Lakers team I’d be more concerned, but with the veterans they have I think the Lakers will come together. They will figure out how to work the hybrid Princeton offense and new defensive sets.

Maybe the best question after the way Brown leaned on Kobe and Gasol last season is if he cannot wear them out during the regular season.

  1. windycity52 - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Zen Master

  2. mazblast - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    More BS from “Zen Master”.

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson blowing more hot air about basketball. He’s such an idiot!

  3. pop562 - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    What bs? He’s saying the same things everyone been saying…chemistry, Nash and Kobe both wanting the ball…so I guess everyone is bs as well?

  4. losangeleschargers17 - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    If nobody ever traded with the lakers:
    Kobe bryant-Bobcat
    Pau gasol- grizzly
    Steve nash- phoenix/elshewhere
    Dwight-Orlando (whining like a child still)

    But it’s ok they will still be second to the clippers this year. Finished one game back last year, but added much more depth(grant hill, Lamar, barnes, turiaf, chauncey, and Crawford. Lamar will be back to his normal self with his buddies barnes and turiaf around. Pacific division is going to the clippers.

    • gmen4life33 - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      I like what the Clippers did, but common man. Like you said, Clippers added depth. Lakers added 2 HOF players who are both still on elite level (Nash is still elite so dont argue). Clippers will be nice, but Brown totally blowing it as a coach is the Clippers only chance of being better.

    • crtzinc - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:28 PM

      What many people fail to remember is that the Lakers traded for the Hornets pick in 1996 and they told the Hornets to draft Kobe Bryant for them. Otherwise the Hornets would not have picked Kobe Bryant if they did not trade that pick.

    • texmex2 - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:38 AM

      wtf r u talking about there the clippers for christ’s sake’ u trying to end the world dude; you really need to get a grip on yourself before you lose your mind completely…~;literely ROTFLMAO

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      How do you figure Kobe would be a Bobcat? Don’t you mean a Hornet?

  5. manotas211 - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I don’t think the clippers are going to win the pacific. You’re crazy the lakers are loaded. I like the clippers too but the lakers just got a lot better. The clippers have too many players playing the same position. It’s going to be hard for Vinny to find playing time for everyone.

    • progress2011 - Oct 6, 2012 at 2:02 AM

      When Nash’ back starts cramping in the 1st quarter of the first Pre Season game and EVERY game there after….

      When Howard gets in foul trouble, in the 2nd quarter of EVERY game…

      When kobes arm needs a rest, from slinging all those bricks….

      Who is coming off the bench, to put up points, shut the other teams offense down or make a dent in the lead, if they are down…..NO BODY !!!

      The fakers have NO talent on the bench ! Ya’ll gonna get ran outta the gym ! 3 seed at BEST !

      Behind OKC, San Antonio and maybe the Clippers !

      Place your bets in vegas and you will win.

      • progress2011 - Oct 6, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        I currently have 13 thumbs down (oooooh, my feelings are hurt). However and ironically, there are no disputes to the FACTS I provided.

        It’s a simple question…..Who you got to come off the bench to sustain what the starting 5 established or take a lead, if they are down ?

        Conversely, the Clippers bench is LOADED. We know what an impact the OKC bench can make. San Antonio consistently has one of the better benches in the league.

        Simple…right ! WHO YOU GOT !!!

  6. yomarianob - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Why is he saying this?
    Will Phil Jackson make a comeback to the Lakers in the midseason?
    Haha

  7. lakerluver - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Second to the Clippers?!! Hahahahahahahahaha…..dude, don’t make me laugh!! Now, on to serious biz. Phil Jackson is the greatest coach in pro sports history. Yeah, I know…but he had MJ, and Kobe, and Shaq, and Pippen… anyone could’ve won with those players!!! Blah, blah, blah!!! The only coach who “might” be better is the Wizard of Westwood, Mr. John Wooden. Mike Brown is a very good coach as well. No, I’m not putting him in the same class as Wooden or Jackson!! And, yes, he’s going to have to make this list of HOF’ers into a cohesive team. If Mitch K. and the Buss family have confidence in him, so do I…. Is Doug Collins a good coach? How about George Karl? Jerry Sloan? They’re all good coaches, they just don’t have a title to show for their efforts. Erik Spolestra would’ve been run out of Miami had Riley listened to the critics. Now he has a title to his credit. Mike Brown is going to lead the LAKERS to titles (that’s plural) before its said and done. Believe it! Go LAKERS!!!

  8. glink123 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    yeah, his 10 rings are all BS. You’re an effing clown.

    • manchestermiracle - Oct 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Eleven. Six with Bulls, five with Lakers.

      • cpaulii - Oct 7, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        12 Rings
        Six with Bulls, five with Lakers, 1 with the Knicks.

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        He was a reserve player when the Knicks won in ’73. When most b-ball folks talk about Phil they’re referring to his legacy as a coach. But you’re right that he has 12 rings.

  9. progress2011 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    ” This is a team that you have to find an offense that is going to work and include everybody because Kobe dominates ” = PASS THE FRIGGIN BALL !!!

  10. jgray30 - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Duhon,Meeks,Jamison, and Hill, which is a whole lot better than what they had last year. OKC’s bench consisted of James Harden…thats it, one guy. The Lakers def wont be getting ran out of ANY gyms ANYTIME SOON! with all due respect bruh, stop hatin…

  11. jgray30 - Oct 6, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Oh and don’t act like they are gonna substitute all 5 positions at once. Who does that? yea the Lakers bench sucked last year, but what really hurt them was consistency from the pg and center pos. They def have that now. Now those guys off the bench is a bonus. Trust me, they are alot more loaded than you think.

  12. manchestermiracle - Oct 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Just imagine what Phil could do with this lineup, with an actual point guard, a dominant center (like back when Shaq was there), Gasol playing his natural position instead of center, etc. Oh, yeah, and Bryant, too.

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