Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has some unguarded comments for team
At about 2:30 Friday afternoon, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson contacted assistant Brian Shaw and expressed his dismay about the team’s play Thursday night during an exhibition game in San Diego against the Golden State Warriors.
And this was after the Lakers beat the Warriors by 21 points.
Jackson, who had missed the game because of flu-like symptoms, informed Shaw that he was disappointed in the team’s defense.
“It was still a lot of mistakes that we made — some of our screen-and-roll defense, the way [the Warriors] penetrated us,” Shaw said. “Things like that, that we need to get right before we play on Tuesday.”
Jackson also was absent Friday, when the Lakers played the Warriors again, this time in Ontario. Shaw coached the team for the second straight game because he scouts the Warriors during the regular season.
And for the second night in a row, the Lakers won, this time pulling out a 105-102 victory in overtime at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Kobe Bryant, who had skipped Thursday night’s game to rest his surgically repaired right knee, played Friday and led the Lakers with 22 points on six-for-19 shooting, playing just over 34 minutes. He was two-for-nine from three-point range.
The Lakers finished exhibition play with a 4-4 record. They open the regular season Tuesday night at Staples Center against the Houston Rockets.
Fisher ready for negotiations
Maybe, Lakers guard Derek Fisher mused Friday, it’s just part of the negotiation process.
He had heard about the comments from NBA Commissioner David Stern, who said eliminating teams is something that might be part of collective bargaining between the owners and the players.
Fisher, the president of the NBA Players Assn., said contraction is not something the players are focused on.
“In a negotiation, there are a lot of things that are on the table that may or may not happen,” Fisher said. “So it’s fair to say that contraction would be on the table. But we’ll see as the process unfolds in terms of what things are just discussions in terms of negotiations and what things actually happen in order to get a deal done.”
Stern said that contraction is a “subject that will be on the table with the players” when the two sides meet.
“I can’t speculate on what his intent with the comment was,” Fisher said. “That could really be how he feels. But for us, myself and my players, we’re steadfastly focused on finding resolutions and continuing to create and come up with ways that we can actually get a deal done.”
Fisher said the players want to protect jobs, not lose them.
He said it would be up to Stern and the NBA owners to make a decision to eliminate teams.
“Is this something that’s going to help us get a deal done?” Fisher said. “And if it’s not, then let’s put that to the side and focus on something else.”
Odom, Ratliff, Walton hurting
Forward Lamar Odom, who might have been the Lakers’ best player during the exhibition season, didn’t play Friday night because of a swollen left thumb, a swollen nose and a tight back.
Center Theo Ratliff didn’t play because of a swollen left knee.
Forward Luke Walton re-aggravated his strained right hamstring in the first half and didn’t return to the game.