Inside the psychology of Lakers coach Phil Jackson

Mon, May 17
1:57
PM ET

Can someone please explain to my narrow, unsophisticated mind why Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson is considered basketball's answer to Sigmund Freud?

Last week, Jackson was asked whether it's tough for the Lakers to prepare for Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash's frenetic style of play. The coach responded by making a basketball-palming gesture and saying, "Yeah, because you can't carry the ball like he does in practice. You can't pick up the ball and run with it."

Like others at the receiving end of Jackson's verbal complaints, Nash was dismissive. Meanwhile, Suns coach Alvin Gentry made Jackson sound like an evil Oliver Sacks, saying that his team wouldn't get drawn into Jackson's psychological ploys because they're "battles we can't win."

Really?

Look, it's not as if Jackson said, I think Nash should be worried about his own unresolved esteem issues. Or, What's really tough is if you're Steve Nash and the world will never accept you. Or even, These aren't the droids you're looking for. Nope. All Jackson did was overtly accuse Nash of breaking the rules of basketball. Not clever. Not complicated. Not even emotionally manipulative, like a schoolyard insult. Simply a factual assertion that can be proved or disproved with tangible evidence. Like gravity. Look at the tape. Nash either carries the ball or he doesn't, and previous games suggest the latter.

And for basic stuff like this, Jackson is considered a "Manchurian Candidate"-shaming Master of Games?

Seriously?

Gentry was wrong. Never mind a battle that can't be won -- it's more like a battle that only someone with issues would bother fighting in the first place, wasting valuable time and energy thinking and writing about Jackson's petty …

… oops. Maybe Jackson is on to something after all.

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