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Phil Jackson says Lakers coaching decision a “midnight coup,” but fair

Nov 26, 2012, 8:31 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson answers questions at a post-game news conference following Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas Reuters

Phil Jackson was in Santa Barbara because… I don’t know but it is one of the great vacation getaways in the United States so he can choose pretty much any reason he wants.

TMZ cameras were in Santa Barbara because, well, they are TMZ. They are everywhere.

So the result is you have got TMZ asking Jackson about how the Lakers coaching search went down (hat tip to Sports City).

Phil Jackson says he’s NOT bitter at the Lakers for passing him over for the head coaching job earlier this month … claiming Lakers brass decided to go with Mike D’Antoni in a “midnight coup.”

The Zen Master was out in Santa Barbara this weekend … when he was asked if he felt the Lakers treated him unfairly during the negotiations. Jackson explained, “We never discussed any terms … so there was never anything unfair about it.”

Phil — now 67-years-old — also made it clear … the chances of him ever coaching in the NBA again are “slim and none.”

Outside the use of the word “coup” here there is nothing really new, nothing he hasn’t said already.

Jackson got interviewed for the job not because Jim Buss — son of owner Jerry and the guy running the show — really wanted him but because they thought he would say no the asked him for PR reasons. Except he didn’t say no, then they were in a PR bind. But in the end Buss went with the guy he wanted.

As I’ve said, my issue with how it went down was simply that this was not well thought out and planned out. If you fire a coach once the season has started you put out feelers and have your replacement plan rolling already and in place when the axe falls. Be like an attorney in the courtroom — do you work in advance so you only ask questions you already know the answers to. That didn’t happen, the Lakers were reactionary. They were playing checkers, not chess.

But in the end, they ended up with a better coach than the one they had. Now we’ll see how that plays out.

  1. joshm5683 - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I’m a Lakers fan and I do begrudgingly agree that D’Antoni’s system probably does fit the pieces a bit better, but I still don’t like how this all went down. I will always love Phil and his snide remarks and his ability to handle the team.

  2. BigBeachBall - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    What do retired coaches do? Extendz commercials?

    • cosanostra71 - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      in Phil’s case, smoke peyote

    • badintent - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

      Jimmie Johnson ?? He will Never be confused with Phil. LOL But he has a sweet home in Key Largo, me and the boys jet ski by it,his fishing boat is loaded. Hell, I ‘d even put up with Terry and the CBS boys for $$$ to have that boat !!

  3. omniusprime - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Sorry Kurt but just because you think that Dumbtoni is a better coach than Clueless Clown Brown doesn’t mean the Lakers have a great coach. The little idiot buss boy made a stupid decision, a “moron’s coup” if you will. So far Dumbtoni hasn’t proven he’s the coach to take the Lakers to the championship in June. While the Lakers last win was nice I won’t be impressed until I see them win 10 in a row, or better.

    • croydsblogs - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      Great comment. I certainly couldn’t have said it better.

  4. manchestermiracle - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    And “the job is Phil’s if he wants it” was BS, too. Sure, the Lakers probably wanted Phil, but not at his asking price: Not traveling on road games, wanting control over personnel decisions, a piece of the club, a salary even higher than his last one, etc. So they went with Plan B, D’Antoni.

    Yes, the Lakers had a plan for after they fired Brown, in fact they had two: Jackson (a stretch) and D’Antoni (a maybe with his recent knee replacement). Speculate all you want, but the situation apparently wasn’t what most ‘pundits’ (including here) thought it was, as Jackson has now explained.

    And Kurt, I find it rather hypocritical that you, of all people, insist the Lakers should “do you (sic) work in advance” when you put up post after post without proofreading beforehand. “Due diligence” isn’t just the bailiwick of attorneys.

    • croydsblogs - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      The fact of the matter, I believe, is that the Lakers – meaning Jimmy Buss – did not ever want Jackson. The turn down was not because of his demands but because Jimmy Buss continues to envy PJ and remains jealous of him and his success. As I have said before, one way to be successful is to find someone who is successful, study that person’s actions and then apply them to yourself in your own way. Instead Jimmy was so consumed by his hatred and envy of PJ and his success he cleared the Lakers of everything relating to Jackson, like 7 trips to the finals and 5 championships. The whole issue about the way the coaching situation was handled relates clearly to Jimmy’s immaturity and inability to understand let alone manage a sports franchise. His choice in coaches clearly illustrates this problem. His management of players has been atrocious. Sure he got Howard and Nash, but look at the cost – the Lakers are without significant draft choices for years. The idea was supposedly to try to win “now,” because Kobe is not expected to play for much longer. So in order to win “now,” what does Jimmy do but hire Brown and then D’Antoni who have only one NBA finals between them (Brown was swept by San Antonio and of course D’Antoni has never been there) while ignoring the man who has the most NBA championships of any coach. No, the problem remains Jimmy who is clearly trying to run the Lakers into the ground since he has no clue of how to win or do anything well. I would much prefer his sister be running things. Of course she is probably part of his problem in trying to get daddy to be proud of him like Jerry is of Jeannie.

  5. socalgal64 - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Jesus, Kurt do you just churn this stuff out without proofing what you write?

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