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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Fish feels your pain, Phil Jackson on Dr. Buss, Tex Winter, and the HOF

By Brian Kamenetzky

A few more non-Andrew Bynum related nuggets from Tuesday's run in El Segundo...

Derek Fisher was asked to identify most important thing the team is looking for over the last five games. "Getting and staying healthy," he said. "If you don't have all your guys, it makes things tough."

From there, Fish said, it's a matter of "re-establishing the ability to play longer, better. We've really had very few times when we've played more than one half of good basketball. And I say that in terms of a total of 24 minutes, not like a (continuous) half where we played well... Just totally inconsistent."

So yes, they're watching the same games you are.



Fish suggests (as did some of his teammates) the struggles faced by the group this year will only make a title in June more satisfying, should they again accomplish the feat. Perhaps, but will it have been worth shaving years off the lives of fans supporting them? We've all seen how the Presidency tends to age people quickly. The Lakers have turned the city into one giant purple and gold oval office.



Phil Jackson spoke about the Hall of Fame nod for Jerry Buss. "It's really a style, more than anything else. There's a style about the game the Lakers play that's been consistent. Understated, the ambiance that's created by the Lakers home games. The style of basketball they play, the consistency of winning over the course of thirty years, now. All of those things are prevalent," he said.

Some will raise an eyebrow over the idea Lakers games, with all the Hollywood star power, are "understated" affairs, but Jackson is actually dead-on. There may be stars, there may be dancers, but there is little else in terms of in-game entertainment so commonplace in other arenas. The pregame introductions are pretty simple, without fire shooting into the rafters or histrionics from the P.A. announcer. (Lawrence Tanter plays it cool, and fans wouldn't have it any other way.)

The lights over seating areas are dimmed, focusing all the action on the court... and maybe the courtside seats as well, so people can see Jack, Denzel, and Leo. The stars (all of 'em) are the show, undercutting the need for t-shirt cannons. Compare the experience to a Clippers game or in-game entertainment in other arenas, and understated actually becomes a good word.

PJ was complimentary of Dr. Buss, but not surprisingly seemed to harbor more passion for the candidacy of Tex Winter, whom Jackson has long believed should be a member of the Hall. After years of campaigning, though, Jackson seems to have resigned himself to the notion it won't happen. "Tex has outlived all his contemporaries," he said. "It's a hard shot for him to get in."