Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One

Knicks fans, Phil Jackson will not be your savior


There is some logic here — the Knicks current roster is better set up for Phil Jackson’s triangle than Mike D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less.

And Jackson admits there is a lure to New York City.

But Knicks fans, Phil Jackson is not going to walk through that door into Madison Square Garden. He is not going to come out of retirement to coach your team to a title.

Jackson wants back in basketball, and it is his nature never to slam shut doors, but read the first sentence of this quote to Mark Heisler writing for the New York Times and not the next couple.

“I have no desire to coach,” he said. “You never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind — but I just don’t see it.

“Without a doubt, New York is special,” he continued in a vein a little more encouraging for Knicks fans. “Why wouldn’t it be? When I was there, it was one of the greatest times to be in New York. I mean, the Mets, Jets and Knicks won championships all in one year.”

Phil Jackson has a real fondness for New York. But if you watched him the last year he was with the Lakers — something he admitted he did as a favor to Jerry Buss and he should have gotten out — you could see that the grind of coaching has taken its toll. It’s not the practices or the games, it’s the travel when you’ve had both hips replaced, the sleeping in beds that are too short, the dealing with the media every day. If you were around the Lakers regularly, it just seemed obvious. Phil Jackson does not want to be a head coach right now. Again, read the first sentence of that quote.

Jackson wants to help a team in more of a front office role, advising not sitting down with players and getting them to meditate before games. He is happy in retirement, playing with grandkids, hanging with his girlfriend and writing another book. He’s living the sweet life blocks from the beach in Los Angeles, you think he wants to give that up to figure out how to make Toney Douglas fit in his offensive system?

Knicks fans, there are some realities you need to accept. One is that nobody is trading for Amar’e Stoudemire’s massive uninsured contract. Another is that Phil Jackson will not be standing… er, sitting in a high chair, whistling at players on your sidelines. Sorry, while the lure of NYC and the Knicks is strong it will not be enough. It was not the last two times your franchise asked, it will not be again. He’ll flirt with you because that is a fun rush, but don’t expect a commitment. He says he doesn’t miss coaching and that seemed evident last season.

Phil Jackson is not going to come walking through that door into Madison Square Garden.

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
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The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.

As expected, Jimmy Butler says no issue between him, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
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Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.

Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.

However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.

This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.

But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.

For now, however, tounges are wagging.