Phil Jackson seems to enjoy his status as “NBA grand philosopher” and uses that platform to lob verbal hand grenades into other franchises or the league offices for fun. Such as bringing up Stan Van Gundy in relation to the Heat or saying the league shouldn’t play on Christmas.
The latest grenade was him questioning the NBA’s ownership of the New Orleans Hornets (the league purchased the team with plans to resell it). Specifically, who is calling the shots when Chris Paul asks for a trade?
“Who’s going to pull the button on it?” Jackson said. “When Chris says he has to be traded, how’s that going to go? … Someone’s going to have to make a very nonjudgmental decision on that part that’s not going to irritate anyone else in the league.”
Pull the button? Whatever. He also spoke on what many have wondered — can the Hornets survive in New Orleans?
“I don’t know if New Orleans can support a team. It hasn’t been successful in supporting a team until now,” Jackson said. “So all the situations that have gone on with New Orleans, unfortunately things have happened and if the franchise can’t make it, someone is going to have to move them.”
Oddly, Jackson and the Lakers may help keep the Hornets in the Big Easy. The Hornets can break their lease if they don’t average crowds of at least 14,213 in December and January. The Lakers sold out New Orleans Arena at 18,018, giving them some added cushion to make the number. If the Hornets are above the threshold they have to stay at least one more year in the Big Easy.