KISS THE RING: Phil Jackson’s Subtle Request Goes Awry
As a fan of an inherently dysfunctional franchise, watching a “power team” such as the Lakers sink to this batshit crazy level is a hater’s jubilation. Part of me wants to grab a microphone, direct my attention towards these wacked out wannabe socialites that call themselves Laker fans, and do rap battle-ish things ala Shaq asking Kobe this question over and over and over again. But then I remembered that I’m still a Blazer fan and that the Lakers still have a superteam and no matter how dysfunctional they seem, they still are the odds on favorite to reach the NBA Finals. So rap battle-ish things will have to wait for another time.
But wading through all this brouhaha from the weekend we know three things:
1). Coaching option #1 was Phil Jackson, and he was “asking for the moon” in order to come back to coach.
2). The Lakers quickly reversed course and hired Mike D’Antoni.
3). Phil Jackson was stunned by the news.
The minute Phil Jackson’s name came up as a replacement for poor ol’ Mike Brown, this was all about one thing: Phil Jackson – that enlightened prick – in his smug brilliance was going to make Jimmy Buss kiss his pinky ring. It was just a matter of to what extent Phil would do this. Apparently he pushed the envelope.
Given that Jackson is “stunned” by the news of D’Antoni’s hiring, I’m assuming that the Lakers brass didn’t consider making a counteroffer to Jackson’s demands. That would seem to be standard procedure in these types of negotiations but I can’t exactly blame Jimbo Buss for having a short fuse. I like to think that those two have a similar relationship to John Cusack and Tim Robbins in High Fidelity.
If I’m halfway correct in this assessment, imagine Jimmy Buss’ reaction when he met with Phil and his list of demands had one undertone: “Kiss the ring, Jimmy”. As my father-in-law pointed out as well, Phil is “boinking” Jimmy’s sister. That probably didn’t help soothe any egos with the undertone.
Anyhoo, the hiring of Mike D’Antoni…it should be very intriguing. 7 Seconds or less basketball like we’ve never seen it before: with the oldest starting lineup in the league, an aging point guard who’s out for 4 weeks with a broken leg, and no bench. I say this smugly which basically means the Lakers will prove me wrong, win out the rest of the season on a 75-0 streak and Lakers fans will be asking me this over and over and over again.