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.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.