Ron Artest vs. Phil Jackson


Late Thursday night, Artest’s account posted a string of tweets expressing frustration with Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

The first unedited tweet, posted around 9 p.m. PT, read: “Finally Phil Jackson didn’t mention me in media before talking me Now I can build on game 2. Hopefully he talks to me before the media.”

The next unedited tweet, posted approximately an hour later, read: “Ever since phil mention things about me in media before coming to me first I was weird . So every pray he can somehow close his yapper.”

Artest’s brother claimed that the account was hacked, but when a reporter paraphrased the tweets and asked Artest about it, he said:

“No, no, you have to read it exactly. That’s exactly what I said? If you can’t get it exact, then I can’t answer it.”

“I’m here to talk about basketball, basketball, all basketball,” Artest said. “Twitter is for my fans, not for [media].”

For his part, Jackson says that he spoke directly to Artest about the issue at hand — his terrible three-point shooting.

“So, you know, we expect him to break out of it at some point, but he’s got to be discriminative in what’s a good shot and what isn’t.”

Jackson, who described Artest as a “na├»ve, innocent lamb” during the first-round series against Oklahoma City said, “I guess he might be a little sensitive,” on Friday.

“I usually tell the truth,” Jackson said of his thought process behind commenting about his players to the media. “I usually don’t pull punches, so, I mean, a person has to withstand that. If they’re hearing it on TV in front of a massive audience, they must understand that their coach saying it to them will be probably a little bit more harmful, a little more hurtful perhaps. They have to be tough enough to take that and move on.”

Jackson tweaks, he doesn’t tweet. He relishes needling everyone — players, coaches, officials — through the media, though I doubt he’s ever run into someone like Ron Artest. The Zen Master should tread carefully.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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