Fortunately for Phil Jackson, it looks like he’ll never have to go back to New Orleans if he doesn’t want to. That’s probably a good thing because he ruffled a few feathers this week with his own reviews of NOLA. According to ESPN Los Angeles, Jackson took umbrage with a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune that painted Jackson as a villain.
Jackson took exception to the headline on the front page of Thursday’s paper, which read, “Why Does He Hate Us?”
The story essentially pulled every disparaging quote Jackson has ever uttered about the city, including his refusal to comment on his feelings about New Orleans before Game 3. “I refuse to comment on the grounds that I might incriminate myself,” Jackson said Friday. “Just don’t drink the water.”
It seems as though some of Jackson’s indignation was just for show since he followed up those comments by reminding reporters that New Orleans “is the bottom of the country, is it not? All the sludge comes out of the plain states and the irrigation and insecticides.”
Phil Jackson is the insult comic of NBA head coaches. You should probably be offended if he doesn’t take a shot at your city. At least he cared enough to insult you. Ask the folks in places like Sacramento and Portland about Jackson’s jabs. Part of it probably stems from a desire to take as much focus as he can off of his team and put it on him – although it’s hard to do when you’ve coached teams and players as talented as he has. Part of it probably comes from just a mischievous desire to tweak fans in other cities.
But if folks in New Orleans are still raw over it, consider this…after the Lakers’ win on Thursday night to end the series, you likely won’t ever have to worry about Phil Jackson again.