Jackson in Pain but on Board
Coach Phil Jackson, feeling well enough to travel despite continuing discomfort from what’s left of a kidney stone, arrived in Chicago with the rest of the Lakers late Monday afternoon for the start of a four-game trip.
Appearing tired because of a poor night’s sleep and suffering pain as he attempted to pass the last of the stone, Jackson had said Sunday he was unsure of his plans.
He missed three games after receiving the first of two sound-wave procedures designed to break down a stone in his lower kidney.
The second procedure, nine days later, was less taxing but Jackson has yet to regain full strength.
He said Sunday there was a small piece that had not passed, and complained of back pain he believed was related to it.
If Jackson has lacked some of his usual energy, the players have hardly noticed.
“He does a good job of just trying to go about his business and be a leader for our team,” guard Derek Fisher said. “You have to respect that about him.”
Jackson asks them to play through little injuries, sometimes bigger ones, and to play well too. When Shaquille O’Neal decided his knee had had enough for a while, Jackson chided him about it, then endured the same observations from O’Neal when he missed games.
Upon returning, Jackson laughed and said he’d have his revenge.
“He’s coaching,” Fisher said. “He’s doing his job. He’s telling us what he needs to tell us. Even he recognizes what time of year it is.”
at Chicago, 5:30 PST, Channel 9
Site -- United Center
Radio -- KLAC-AM (570), KWKW-AM (1330), KIRN (670)
Records -- Lakers 35-26, Bulls 22-42.
Record vs. Bulls -- 1-0.
Update -- The Lakers beat the Bulls in Shaquille O’Neal’s comeback game Nov. 22, but it was Kobe Bryant who led the team in points, 21; rebounds, 10, and assists, seven. The Bulls have lost four of their last five and 15 of their last 20 games, though they’re starting to see some life from second-year men Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry.