“He’s only won 58 rings. Why wouldn’t they?”
—Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, when asked what he thought of Lakers fans chanting “we want Phil” when Phil Jackson spoke at Shaquille O’Neal’s number retirement at Staples Center Tuesday night.
The ovation and chant for Jackson was as loud as anything in Staples Center all night long and several players said they could hear the chants in the locker room during halftime.
Which would seem awkard for D’Antoni — Jim Buss essentially blew off Jackson to hire D’Antoni — but frankly he’s been living in that shadow since he got to Los Angeles. He knows how the fans feel. He’s not stupid. And Jackson’s presence isn’t going to change what D’Antoni does — the guy was the coach of the Knicks, this isn’t his first time feeling pressure from fans.