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Phil Jackson talks Lakers, Dwight, and more

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Phil Jackson recently sat down with Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated and discussed what he sees with the Lakers, basketball, and more.

Kevork Djansezian

Phil Jackson has been relatively quiet since the Los Angeles Lakers decided to hire Mike D'Antoni as their head coach, but it appears he has been watching from afar. Jack McCallum of caught up with Jackson recently, and Phil had plenty to say.

When asked if he takes notes while watching games Phil revealed that several teams had asked for his opinion on what he saw, including the Lakers.

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.

So what did Phil see when he watched the Lakers?
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 [Howard] just doesn't get any touches. They've basically eliminated his assets
When asked if Dwight can be similar to Shaq in the post-- that is; finding open players and operating out of double teams, Jackson re-iterated the notion that Howard still isn't where he needs to be physically.
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.
There's much more to it than the above quotes as Phil delves into what he does with his spare time, the potential of working a front office job, and this little gem as a parting thought.

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.
Be sure to catch the full read right here at, there's plenty more meat to this interview than the above quotes.

- Drew

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