go to MSN.com
Found February 19, 2013 on Laker Nation:

Via Laker Nation:

Despite being passed over for the Lakers’ head coaching vacancy in November, legendary coach Phil Jackson remains optimistic about his former team.

This week, Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum interviewed the 13-time champion (11 titles as a coach, two as a player) about a few basketball-related topics.

The following is Jackson’s insight on the current Lakers’ issues, Dwight Howard, his own future in the NBA, and whether or not the Lakers will make the playoffs this season:

When asked what Jackson sees in the Lakers right now, considering the personnel changes and injuries, Jackson lamented:

They just don’t put the ball in the post. They’ll use a screen-roll to get the guy in the post. But there’s no consistent plan to do it. Yes, Kobe will go in there. But Dwight just doesn’t get any touches.

They’ve basically eliminated his assets.

Jackson was then asked about Howard’s screen and rolls:

You want the ball 10 feet away from the basket. Throw it into the post, make them double-team and have everybody around to make shots.

That’s what Shaq could do. That’s where you have the Robert Horrys, the Derek Fishers and the Rick Foxes sitting out there getting wide-open jumpers.

Can Howard’s presence inside be similar to Shaq’s, in the aspect of drawing the double team and finding open teammates?

I think he can be. But he is not where he needs to be physically because of the back surgery. He needs a year to recover from something like that. He’s starting to come around, but he has a massive upper body to carry around. He’s a terrific athlete, but he still has to get all that back.

He’s looking better all the time, but his problem right now is turnovers. He’s got to have a little better recognition, and that will help him gain the confidence of his teammates and coach, which he does not have now.

When asked about the issues regarding Howard and Pau Gasol playing together:

Well, what is the problem? We won two championships that way [with two big men]. Pau is one of the best big men in the game. I mean, Pau Gasol is going to be in the Hall of Fame.

Have the Lakers been improving? And will they still make the playoffs?

Yes, I think they are finding a way to play. And that’s nice to see. Steve Nash has had to sacrifice because Kobe is dominating the ball, but Kobe is showing he can be both playmaker and scorer.

Now it’s about defense. And I think that’s coming around.

They make the playoffs; I think they’ve shown they’re going to be in it with every team.

Does Jackson ever feel compelled to visit Staples Center for a game?

I haven’t yet. I’ll probably go when Shaq’s number is retired [on April 2nd].

When asked about Jackson’s run in Los Angeles:

I did have a good run. There were always people who didn’t like the triangle, thought it was too methodical, too unlike Showtime.

But I was always astonished about how well I was treated. When I came back [in 2005] and took the job, people actually thanked me. They didn’t say, “Good luck.” They said “Thank you.” I never forgot that.

Will Jackson ever coach in the NBA again?

I’m not coaching. I told Mitch [Kupchak, Lakers General Manager] that back in October. So when we sat down in November [to talk about taking over after Mike Brown was fired], he brought that up and I said,

“Well, this isn’t about moving or going somewhere else and learning new players. It’s different. So I’m ready to think about coming back, but I still have to think about it.”

But I do hold out the idea that there’s still influence in the game I could have. Red Auerbach, Pete Newell, Wayne Embry, guys like that have had … a number of people have had considerable influence and haven’t been coaches per se.

What about a management job?

Vice president of basketball operations/director of player personnel is more like it.

Jackson was also asked whether he watches games and if he takes notes on them:

I sometimes take notes. I have some people who have come to me and ask, “Would you watch my team, see if you can pick anything up?”

Four or five teams, plus the Lakers. [He wouldn't identify the other teams.] So while I’m not officially in the consulting business, it might come in handy sometime.

Since he’s been away from the game for two years, has the league changed at all?

Not really. It’s a mimic league. It has been for a long time. Coaches see something and say, “Oh, that’s hard to defend. Maybe we’ll run that.” Screen-roll. Three-point shooters in the corner. Bigs that can roll and pop.

San Antonio has a system, a way of doing things, and maybe a couple others. But most everybody runs that screen-roll.

How does the game look from the outside looking in?

Basketball is a simple game. Your goal is penetration, get the ball close to the basket, and there are three ways to do that. Pass, dribble and offensive rebound.

The easiest one is — or should be — the pass. But the new rules allow you to throw more people at post-up players. NBA basketball is a big man’s game, and in the past they protected that aspect of the game.

Well, those rules went out the window and what they didn’t do was consider this: If they’re going to continue to allow zone defenses to work and shut down the paint, then they have to put six more seconds on the shot clock. A 30-second clock. But they’re so attached to the idea of the 24-second clock that it doesn’t happen.

Anyway, [allowing limited zones] has eliminated some of the post passing and made dribbling a major part of our game. As a result, I think people forgot that there are still ways you can get the ball inside rather than just standing there and throwing the ball in. You have to have a system that makes all things work. Pop [San Antonio's Gregg Popovich] has that.

How would he describe that system?

Popovich made significant growth 10 years ago or so after David Robinson left. It had been pretty stilted. You know, two big guys. A lot of stuff he does represents the triangle offense.

They flow into it a different way. Strong-side triangle. Pinch-post action. Some of it may have come about because we were going at each other all the time in the playoffs and he had to defend against it.

Finally, what does Jackson miss most about coaching?

What you might expect. Being around the other coaches, being around the guys. It’s what I talked about in my book [Eleven Rings]. Coaching is about, “How do I get these people to play at their peak level?” Yeah, the X’s and O’s mean something, but you can get people to do that.

And a lot of those guys have been hired. The Lawrence Franks and the Frank Vogels. Mike Brown was one of those guys. That’s not a knock. Those guys know how to coach the game.

But coaching is much more than that. It is a spiritual quest. And if it’s not that, you don’t have a challenge, you don’t have a mission. Forming a brotherhood and trying to move it forward, that’s the part that I miss.

Sure sounds a lot like something the current Lakers’ head coach, Mike D’Antoni, lacks.

That all-important “spiritual quest.”

More from Laker Nation:
THE BACKYARD
RELATED ARTICLES

Dwight Howard Mocked Kobe Bryant to All-Star Teammates; Kobe Wasn’t Amused

Kobe wants Dwight Howard to stop clowning around, but Dwight doesn’t know how to act any other way. People may not like Kobe Bryant, but no one questions his desire to be great and his work ethic. That is what gets him the respect from peers and fans alike, but I don’t think anyone respects Dwight Howard right now, on or off the court. Here is just a latest example why from Larry...

Dennis Rodman Breaks Down Trying to Talk About Late Lakers Owner Jerry Buss (Video)

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman spent one of his 14 NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. That season was 1998-99, and he only played 23 games that year. That doesn’t mean, however, that the enigmatic superstar didn’t get close with Lakers owner Jerry Buss. So you could imagine Rodman was pretty sad when the news came that Buss had passed away Monday. Coincidentally, Rodman...

Kobe Bryant to retire sooner than you think, 1-2 years max! (VIDEO)

Over All-Star weekend Kobe Bryant stopped by the Nike Lounge.  During an interview with former pro Damon Jones for a Nike Basketball segment called “The Athlete Lounge,” Bryant laughed about [...]

Lakers honor Jerry Buss, dominate Celtics

LOS ANGELES The best way for the Los Angeles Lakers to honor their late owner, Jerry Buss, was to beat the hated Boston Celtics. Wednesday night the Lakers did just that, clobbering the Celtics 113-99 at Staples Center. Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant added 16 as the Lakers improved their record to 26-29. Its very fitting (we beat the Celtics) Bryant...

Mitch Kupchak: Dwight Howard is Lakers’ future, should have a statue someday

If the Los Angeles Lakers are exploring the possibility of trading Dwight Howard before the trade deadline on Thursday, they don’t want anyone to know about it. During an interview with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd on Wednesday, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak had nothing but praise for his center. In fact, praise would be an understatement. Kupchak said the team has no intention...

Lakers owner Jerry Buss has passed away

Social media outlets have been rocked with the passing of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.  Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, Mike Bresnahan, broke the news of [...]

Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dies | American Live Wire

Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dies | American Live Wire Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss has passed away at the age of 80. The longtime owner of the popular basketball team had been battling cancer since last year, something that was only recently made public knowledge, but actually passed away due to kidney failure. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday...

Jerry Buss Passes Away At 79

Jerry Buss had been hospitalized with an undiagnosed form of cancer.

Jerry Buss, Longtime Owner of Lakers, Dies at 80 After Battle With Cancer

LOS ANGELES — Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers’ playboy owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships from the 1980s’ Showtime dynasty to the Kobe Bryant era, died Monday, his assistant said. Buss died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant. He was 80. He had been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death...

Kobe Bryant Nearly Traded To Pistons In 2007

The Pistons' package for Kobe Bryant included a combination of their core players and draft picks, according to sources.

Lakers' owner Jerry Buss dies

In the world of sports, there are two owners synonymous with success.  And both are gone now.  George Steinbrener of the New York Yankees had a win-at-all-costs mentality.  He would spend a ton and ruthlessly cut players.  Jerry Buss was a more civilized version of that, but with just as much success.  Maybe more.Yesterday, Buss died at the age of 80.  He was battling cancer...

Report: Kobe Bryant would support trading Dwight Howard

Another day, another story about the rocky, at best, relationship between Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. Just to recap, the two have fought on the court, fought off the court, and showed their disdain for one another to their Western Conference All Star teammates. Despite their perceived issues, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio there isn’t a riff between the two stars. But if Mitch...

Preview: Celtics vs. Lakers

It's anybody's guest why the Lakers (25-29) have yet to find that motivation to go out and lay everything on the floor to help themselves win games. The passing of the legendary Dr. Jerry Buss Monday morning could be that push they need to make a historical run in the remaining 28 games to make the playoffs. Laker fans are optimistic that their team will answer the bell now...
Lakers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

RUMORS & GOSSIP

James Harrison to rejoin Steelers for his final season

James Harrison officially retired from the NFL before the season began, but the 36-year-old is coming back to rejoin his old club. The Pittsburgh Steelers will sign Harrison this week. The #Steelers will be signing their own former star LB James Harrison over the next few days, I’m told. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 22, 2014 LB James Harrison scheduled to meet Tuesday...
Via Sports-Glory
39 minutes ago

LeBron James fan has his Cavaliers arena ban lifted

Remember that fan who ran onto the court when the Miami Heat played the Cleveland Cavaliers two seasons ago with a shirt begging LeBron James to return to Cleveland in 2014? What a nut that guy was, huh? LeBron had won two championships with the Heat and was aiming for a third. There was no […]
Via Larry Brown Sports
4 hours ago

Chargers lose Danny Woodhead for the season

The San Diego Chargers’ worst fears were confirmed on Monday as running back Danny Woodhead is officially out for the year after suffering a leg injury against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Woodhead will have surgery to repair his fractured right fibula and ankle and will be placed in injured reserve this week. The 30-year-old was carted off the field during the Chargers’ 22-10...
Via Rumors and Rants
2 hours ago

Ravens respond to ESPN allegations about Ray Rice story

The Baltimore Ravens have responded to allegations by ESPN’s Outside the Lines that the team led a campaign of misinformation in the months following the now infamous Ray Rice elevator incident in which he was arrested for domestic violence. You already know the story, so there is no reason to get into it here. Needless to say, both the Ravens and the NFL have drawn widespread...
Via Sportsnaut
5 hours ago

Is there a QB controversy brewing in Miami?

Fresh off a disheartening 34-15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin didn’t seem prepared to commit to Ryan Tannehill as the team’s starting quarterback for Week 4 (via Palm Beach Post). After being asked directly about Tannehill’s status as the starting quarterback, Philbin responded… We’ll utilize the players the best way we...
Via Sportsnaut
6 hours ago

Lions place Tulloch on season-ending I.R. with ACL injury

The Detroit Lions announced Monday that they will place veteran LB Stephen Tulloch on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL. Caldwell announced that Stephen Tulloch will be placed on injured reserve with an ACL injury. — Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 22, 2014 Tulloch suffered the injury while celebrating a sack on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, so this is a very disappointing...
Via NFL Trade Rumors
8 hours ago

Derek Jeter denies he gave gift baskets to one-night stands

Derek Jeter may be retiring from baseball with a giant pile of farewell gifts from major league teams but, it seems the Yankees shortstop wasn't quite as generous with parting gifts for his one-night stands.The Captain claims he's never given gift baskets of signed memorabilia to his female "conquests," according to an article in this week's New York Magazine...
Via The Other Paper
13 hours ago

Dolphins players reportedly ‘furious’ with defensive scheme

The Miami Dolphins have not looked good over the past two weeks after kicking off their season with an impressive win over the New England Patriots. They allowed 34 points against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and 29 against the Buffalo Bills the week before. Neither opponent has what you would call a powerhouse […]
Via Larry Brown Sports
10 hours ago

Peyton Manning on Sunday's game: ‘It’s a disappointing loss’

Peyton Manning drove the Denver Broncos 80 yards in 41 seconds for a score and hit Demaryius Thomas for a two-point conversion to tie the game.  But the Seattle Seahawks made sure the quarterback didn’t touch the ball in overtime. Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard TD run on the first possession of overtime and the Seahawks beat the Broncos 26-20 on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch...
Via Sports-Glory
22 hours ago

Report: Qatar will not host 2022 World Cup

The soccer world is dealing with a bit of controversy this morning, as ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweeted that a FIFA member is saying that Qatar has lost its 2022 World Cup bid. FIFA member now says he believes World Cup won't take place in Qatar http://t.co/y8NpciQAll — darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 22, 2014 FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanzinger, says that...
Via BlackSportsOnline
11 hours ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.