Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Los Angeles Lakers – they of the 21-3 record – haven’t exactly been playing the most inspired basketball of late. They had to mount a huge comeback last night just to beat the Knicks at home, and two of their three losses this season have come at the hands of squads with next to no shot at postseason play.
One person who’s noticed the lack of inspiration is the team’s coach, Phil Jackson, who flatly admitted to his team’s boredom with much of the competition in the NBA. His squad then went out and proved him right against New York.
From the Daily News:
“They’ve lost that spark, so that’s what’s missing and people see it,” he said.
“We’re seeking perfection,” Jackson said. “That’s what you always try to do, but you’re not going to play every game up to par. Sometimes it takes competition to raise that level in these players because they’re working hard. Games have to have meaning to them. We’re trying to make them have meaning every night that they play, and that brings the level up a lot. They’ve got to get to that (level again).”
The hidden brilliance in that quote is that Jackson not only rips his own team for not showing up every night, but also subtly takes a jab at the rest of the League for not being good enough for them to bother doing so. You’re an evil genius, Phil.
The good thing for the Lakers, is that a few days from now (eight, to be specific), the crushing boredom will evaporate from the Laker locker room, as a certain green-attired group of men invades the Staples Center. I don’t expect too many people to be yawning during that event.