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Does the Mike D’Antoni hire make sense for the Lakers?

I really have no idea. The entire situation in LA is pretty stunning. I’m not surprised they got rid of Mike Brown, as his pathetic offense seemed like a poor fit for a team Steve Nash. Nash flourished under Mike D’Antoni, but he was younger at the time and they never won anything. Meanwhile the Lakers decided not to bring back the best coach in NBA history – Phil Jackson. It should be good for NBA ratings, however, as this drama should be fun to watch.

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Mark Cuban calls Phil Jackson a ‘boy toy’

April 10, 2010: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during the game between the Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks at Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA. Ben Munn/CSM.

If one loudmouth calls another loudmouth a name, is it news?

Apparently.

After Phil Jackson commented on the loss of Mavs forward Caron Butler…

“He just leaves a vacuum that’s going to be very hard for them to fill,” Jackson said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

…the hypersensitive Cuban fired back…

“I love that Jeanie Buss’ boy-toy had something to say about us,” Cuban said while sweating on the stair-stepping machine in the Mavs’ workout room. “I don’t know if it was his thought or Jeanie’s thought, but it’s nice to know that she lets him speak in public about other teams.”

I’m happy Cuban is in the league because if nothing else, he’s entertaining. I prefer his brash and energetic style over the stodginess of most NBA owners. It’s better to have an owner sitting behind his team’s bench cheering his fool head off than to have him up in a luxury box sipping a glass of Merlot.

But if Jackson wants to make a comment about the Mavs, Cuban shouldn’t get so defensive. Doing so only confirms that Jackson got under his skin. And I’m not even sure that was Jackson’s intention with these comments about Butler. He was asked about the injury and responded with a completely valid opinion. Cuban resorted to a personal attack about Jackson’s love life.

Bush league.

Phil Jackson will return for one ‘last stand’

In a rather unsurprising turn of events, Phil Jackson will return to coach the Lakers next season.

“Count me in,” said Jackson. “After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”

Love or hate the Lakers, NBA fans have to respect Jackson’s ability to coax the best out of the great teams that he has coached. If the LeBron/Wade/Bosh dream comes to fruition in Miami or some other locale, they’ll have a powerful foe to overcome, as the two-time defending champs will be at full strength led by the Zen Master.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Report: Phil Jackson leaning towards retirement

Phil Jackson told the media on Wednesday that he’s leaning towards retiring instead of returning to the Lakers to defend their latest NBA title.

From the Orange County Register:

Jackson said he told Lakers owner Jerry Buss and select players such as Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher about his leanings.

“Take a week and then make a decision,” said Jackson, who also is awaiting results from various medical tests he took Monday.

Jackson seemed confident that he was ready to do something else in a quest for “making the next phase of my life” an accomplishment also. Jackson had said previously that it’d be hard to turn down the chance to go for a fourth set of three consecutive championships, and he acknowledged that ongoing desire Wednesday in referring to that temptation as “a fly in the ointment.”

But Jackson is trying out this mentality of not coaching anymore and waiting to see “if something turns me around.”

Jackson said he wouldn’t rule out coaching again if he stepped away but didn’t envision it.

“I have to sit on it and do the right thing for myself,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that I’m 95 percent or 50 percent sure. This is what I feel right now.”

Among his many accomplishments, Jackson has won 11 NBA championships as a coach and two more as a player. He was the 1996 NBA Coach of the Year, owns the most NBA titles as a head coach and has the most wins in NBA playoffs history. (Not to mention he also has the most wins in Bulls and Lakers’ history, which is incredible given the history of both franchises.)

What I’m saying is that he doesn’t have much to prove anymore. The only reason to return would be because coaching is still fun for him and he can make it through the grind of another 82-game season. If he’s not up for it, then there’s no reason to continue.

We’ll just have to wait and see what he decides.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Current NBA Finals odds

One internet bookmaker currently has the Finals at a pick ‘em, largely because the Lakers’ home court advantage offsets the Celtics’ 3-2 lead. Here are a few stats to chew on heading into Game 6:

- Phil Jackson’s 47-0 series mark after winning Game 1 is in serious jeopardy.

- Teams trailing 3-2 in the Finals have won just six times in 40 tries. However, since the league has gone to a 2-3-2 format, the team down 2-3 has only had home court advantage six times and have gone 2-4 in those series.

- The Celtics are 11-0 in the franchise history when leading 3-2 in the Finals.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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