Phil Jackson is not a traditional coach on a lot of levels — not only the team meditation sessions and the triangle offense, but also how he handles players. For example, few coaches more willingly needle players through the media to make a point than Jackson.
Some players couldn’t care less or at least get used to it. Kobe Bryant for example. But Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that this season Ron Artest and Jackson have clashed over the issue.
At a recent practice, league sources said, Artest loudly confronted Jackson. As he tried to fit into the defending champions a season ago and earn his way, Artest grudgingly went along with Jackson’s public floggings. This season, Artest has less tolerance for it. Essentially, Artest told Jackson that if he wants to coach him, coach him. Just stop embarrassing him in public.
After the Lakers last ugly game Artest retweeted some of the fans ripping the Lakers. It’s not the criticism, Artest has heard that from people and coaches for years, it’s how it’s directed. Kobe said that both Gasol and Artest have had issues with Jackson’s public prodding of players.
You know what would end a lot of this Lakers dissension talk? About three wins in a row. Not that it really changes the situation all that much, but with the team’s play of late everyone is on edge. Winning cures all ills.