Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Phil Jackson and LeBron James


I don't really care about the "posse" comment (though it is clearly a slam on LeBron).  The more interesting thing is that Phil Jackson seems to have a real problem with LeBron.  He was a bad guy in 2004, a bad guy in 2014, a bad guy in 2016.  Just an overall bad guy.  Doesn't take things seriously, requires special treatment, etc.

If I have LeBron James as a player and he asks to stay in Cleveland overnight to hang out with his mom, I say, "Fine, go ahead.  We need you in _________ by ________ o'clock tomorrow."  Is this really a great concern?  This isn't Iverson showing up at practice with "flu-like symptoms."  The guy is 29 years old and has led your team to two titles and he wants to spend a night at his mom's house.  News flash, Phil -- regular business people do this (plan trip to a town and stay an extra day to see their families).  Oooh, "special treatment!"

The complaint about LeBron traveling all of the time.  My lord, Phil.  Tiny Archibald traveled every time he got the ball.  Patrick Ewing never ever established a pivot foot.  Every single right-handed basketball player in the NBA who catches the ball with his right foot stationary immediately switches pivot feet without dribbling.  That is how it is.  Do you know how we determine the best guys in a world where they don't get calls?  When they play international ball and the refs do not give them any leeway, who are the best guys?  LeBron is always still the best guy.    As was Jordan, as was Barkley, as was David Robinson, as was Duncan, as was Garnett.

Perhaps the biggest problem that Phil has with LeBron is that LeBron reminds us that it is the PLAYERS and not the coaches who win titles.  LeBron has won 2 titles with Eric Spoelstra and one with Tyron Lue.  He has brought teams to the Finals coached by Mike Brown and David Blatt.  So perhaps what bothers Phil the most is that he doesn't like to know that guys like Brown/Blatt/Lue/Spoelstra  can ride great talent to a title appearance.  That tends to disprove the whole myth of Zen and that you need a super coach to win.  You don't.  What you need is a top 10 great player.   All of a sudden Phil's 11 rings ring a little hollow. 

Maybe that is it? 

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