UPDATE 19:14 pm: And the action came quickly from the league office. Phil Jackson was fined $35,000 today for his comments after Sunday’s game.
The Lakers had the day off from practice so nobody got the chance to ask Jackson about the fine, and he didn’t get the chance to say he wouldn’t discuss it.
9:12 am: That will cost him.
Phil Jackson knows (everybody does) that you smack the the referees you pay the NBA. Jackson didn’t care, he took a swing — particularly aimed at Bennett Salvatore — after the Lakers loss to San Antonio Sunday. We got ESPN for the quotes:
“Tonight they wouldn’t let Ron play the way he played prior to [the technical foul call],” Jackson said. “[Ginobili] could hook Ron; [Artest] didn’t get what was going on and ended up getting too many fouls on him.”
“The way we ended up the half I think turned the referees against us and when you do that, that’s an unfortunate thing,” Jackson said. “Ron didn’t back off and didn’t read that official well enough to know, you got to back off, you got to lighten the load, he’s not going to take any more of that. Ginobili forced the issue and got the calls.”
The referees had nothing to do with why the Lakers lost that game. Nothing. Phil Jackson knows that.
He also knows these two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs. And he wants Ron Artest to be able to physical with Manu Ginobili, which may be the only way to slow the hottest player in the NBA down right now. So Jackson started his traditional playoff working of the officials early this year, trying to lay a foundation. He’s already in playoff mode.
And that will cost him.