Lakers Advance to the Finals, Phil Jackson Named Minister of Mental Trickery
Phil Jackson…..you sly dog, you.
Did you see it? Phil’s moment at the end of the 3rd quarter of game 5 against the Spurs? I love NBA mic’d up and the required between quarter interviews.
Fresh off pleading his “case” to Steve Javie, Phil turned to chat with TNT’s Craig Sager. Sager asked Phil about his talk with Javie (most think it’s spelled ‘Javy’, and NBA Draft.net thinks he looks like Martha Plimpton)….Phil exclaimed that the refs gave Kurt Thomas an extra FT. Thomas made a bucket, was fouled, and sent to the line for an And1 opportunity with just under a minute left in the third. Phil said he wasn’t paying attention, making a sub, and that Kurt Thomas missed his initial FT attempt, but then was given a second, which he made.
Marv Albert and Doug Collins did a double-take……and checked the replay. No dice Zen Master, didn’t happen. But did Phil Jackson really believe that Kurt Thomas shot an extra free-throw?
We are all aware of Coach Jackson’s mind games, on and off the court, with referees, opponents, the media, and even his own players (in a homeless man’s Clockwork Orange kind of way). He’s already called the Zen Master, now I’m adding the title of Minister of Mental Trickery (in a Saddam Hussein era Iraqi Minister kind of way – they had a ton of those guys)…..and maybe Jedi should be added to the moniker list as well.
I must admit that I might be suffering from ‘boy who cried wolf’ syndrome, as it’s to the point where I simply assume that everything that comes out of Phil Jackson’s mouth is some sort of trickery, or at least serving a purpose.
Did Phil really think that the refs gave Kurt Thomas two free-throws? Could he have been planting a sympathetic seed in Steve Javie’s head which might benefit the Lakers in the 4th? Might Jackson be making the entire story up to Craig Sager?
The Zen Master says that’s for him to know and you not to know.