Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  44 responses

Phil Jackson Already Playing Mind Games With OKC

Jackson pulled a Kevin Garnett yesterday by becoming the latest to gripe about Kevin Durant’s ability to earn free throws from the refs. The LA Times reports: “And for a series Jackson said will be predicated on ‘an adjustment to the unknown,’ he just threw the first fastball. All season, the Zen master has been largely complimentary of Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, who currently leads the league in scoring at 30.1 points per game. But when I asked whether Durant could eventually become the torchbearer of the NBA, Jackson’s praise came in a different context. ‘Yeah, by the calls he gets, he really gets to the line a lot, I’ll tell ya.’ Jackson said Tuesday after the team’s shoot-around before Tuesday night’s game against Sacramento … Durant ranks first in the NBA in free-throw attempts (825) and per game (10.3), while Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is ranked 10th in free-throw attempts (541) and ninth per contest (7.4). In fairness to Durant, however, there is at least one call the officials missed in his favor. The NBA recently acknowledged that referees missed a foul on Utah forward C.J. Miles, which would’ve given Durant three free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining in the Jazz’s 140-139 overtime win over the Thunder. After the laughter subdued, Jackson continued. ‘There’s a couple plays in the last game where I was pretty curious how he got there,’ he said. ‘He really has a reputation as one of the hot points in the league.’ ‘So, you think it looks like Durant has learned the tricks of the trade,’ I asked Jackson. ‘Yeah, you go there,’ he said, ‘create contact and you hope you get to the line.”‘

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  • Ken

    I’m stoked for this series. I hope the Thunder take a couple games, and Durant has one game where he goes off.

  • BackInBlack

    the thunder should beat the lakers

  • Mike

    I hate Phil Jackson. I want KD to take this series over.

  • http://seth@us.ibm.com Prodi

    BackInBlack should be committed.

  • Trout

    Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and all of his team never ‘create’ contact and hope for a whistle. I used to respect Jackson when he managed the Bulls but he’s become a real asshole.

  • slamfan4life

    Jacksons the GOAT, but Durants just doing his thing

    Gonna be a helluva series

  • BackInBlack

    he is

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Jackson is already complaining about calls and the series hasn’t even started? Well, I guess the tone has been set for the series by the Lakers camp: whine and moan and gripe and take the stance that they are being cheated on every single play. Yeah, that’s real zen. I hope Durant goes to the line 20 times a game now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    Really? PJax is complaining about superstar calls?

  • Exile

    Durantula! I really do hope the Thunder do some damage. If they win… all the better.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com TADOne

    Hey Phil, that is what happens when a player is aggressive and takes the ball to the basket instead of settling for jumpers. Idiot.

  • Logues

    they all scared of thunder!

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Phil has absolutely no grounds to complain about anyone getting any type of calls…ever. But I’m pretty sure this is just another stunt to get inside of the Thunder’s domes. I call this pulling a “Philly”. It has proven effective in the past.

  • AL29

    Co-sign @Trout. I think the 10 rings got to his head. I hope OKC takes these chumps to 7 games.

  • Sparty’s Law

    I’m actually looking forward to this series more than I have a 1 vs 8 series in a long time. I still think the Lakers win in 4, maybe 5 games though.

  • Sparty’s Law

    Also, does anyone remember how much better first round series used to be when they were only 5 games? The NBA should really revert back to that format.

  • vtrobot

    How does that statement get inside the domes of the Thunder? Does that worry the Thunder? Is this going to make them do something differently? I don’t think so. OKC is young too, I don’t think they’re going to start sweating much of this p*ssy/petty bullsh*t. I know that Phil and Kobe are amazing, but this is the b*tch sh*t that makes it so fun to watch them lose. Lakers have a ton of advantages, but good luck slowing down KD and Fish, best of luck to you trying to slow down Russell.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    I’ve GOT to tune into every one of these games. I can’t wait to see KD explode.

  • Spitta

    niQ Posted: Apr.14 at 11:01 am
    I’ve GOT to tune into every one of these games. I can’t wait to see KD explode.


  • vtrobot

    @ Sparty’s: i think we all remember that and i think the only people who don’t want it to go back to a best of 5 first round are those in charge of collecting the advertising dollars for the league. pretty hard to pull off an upset in a 7-game series.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    By the way they b!tch, you’d think they’re being coached by Philip F*cking Jackson out there.

  • The D Train

    Sparty is spot-on. The awesomeness of a five game series is an actual chance for an upset. Unless a much lower seed really matches up well with the higher seed (think GS / DAL a few years back), seven games all but assures the best team is going to win the majority of the time. Overall that is probably the way it should be, but as fans there are a lot of us that jump on the underdog and enjoy the improbable upset over the methodical beatdowns that the higher seeds usually inflict over the course of seven long games.

  • vmcb

    My cable got cut out, as we’re moving at the end of the month. What terrible timing.

  • http://freewebs.com/sinhabla Gus

    Attack of the Durantula vs The Broken Mamba is coming to Hollywood, and it´s gonna be a huge blockbuster!

  • CDef28

    Seeing how Kobe and his old legs haven’t been near the paint lately, I’m shocked he’s ranked 10th in FTA.

  • unrel

    easy guys.. phil isn’t complaining.. he’s done this throughout his career.. says a few things to try and change the series.. whether getting in the heads of the other team.. firing up his own team.. or getting in the heads of the league and/or refs.. in the playoffs.. he knows how to coach in a series.. not just in a game..

  • vtrobot

    lakers and celtics: the only playoff teams with losing records during their last 10 games.

  • Kelly

    All I have to say is this series with the Thunder scares the mess out of me. They may be #8, but anything can happen with KD playing like a young beast; and Kobe not playing up to par (for whatever reason) and Lakers bench playing like scrubs. Sure the championship have to go through LA, but I would not be surprised if a thunderstorm led by KD sweep through LA. To be honest, the way LA has been playing since the All Star break, I’m scared for them to play any team in the west playoff. As much as I want the Lakers to win the championship, I really believe it will take a miracle for them to repeat.

  • Kulchakris

    I’ve posted this before, and I’ll echo it again. I will be (pleasantly) shocked if the Lakers win the ‘chip this season. Even with a healthy Bynum, the team’s defensive intensity and execution have been subpar pretty much all season.

    Add in the likelihood of not having home-court in the finals (against LeBaby and his crew), and I see this season ending with a very angry KB24.

  • http://IJustWantMyNameToLookBig.com Chukaz

    Kevin “Micheal F*ckin Jordan” Durant is a beast. Kobe and my lakers will handle them in 5 but Kevin “Micheal F*ckin Jordan” Durant is still a beast.

  • LA Huey

    Wow, how many of you just heard of Phil Jackson? JVG once said something to the tune of “If Phil’s complaining, you don’t even need to check the calendar to know what time of year it is”

  • vtrobot

    @ LA Huey: Some of us have been tired of it for a very long time. You don’t need to get on the other guy’s d*ck, but a “He’s obviously a strong offensive player, stopping him will be one of the main focuses”-type routine answer is fine. Complaining about preferential treatment before it happens (especially if that person was JUST on the bad end of the biggest non-call of the season) or pretending not to know the person who just clotheslined you (Kobe/Raja) makes you seem sort of like a b*tch. Lakers nation is scared, and quite rightfully so.

  • LA Huey

    @vtrobot, I can see how it can be tiring but as long as we’re not surprised by his behavior.
    But the thing about how Kobe responds to small fry trying to challenge him, can’t hate on that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    I love Phil Jackson’s mind games…to anyone that doesn’t appreciate that–it’s a part of sports, the psychology of it. Michael did it, Larry did it, Wilt…the great ones play multiple games.

  • Rob

    Zen Master knows his craft. The Lakers will turn the switch on. Just watch.

  • http://www.SLAMonline.com J Dizzle

    I can’t believe all the people who think Phil is “criticizing” Durant. He praised him all season. It’s playoff time; he’s trying to get in his head. And with such a young OKC squad, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did exactly that with these comments. He’s not blasting Durant, he’s preparing for the series. LOL @ real NBA fans who think OKC has a real chance in this series. Lakers may not be as good as last year or playing at their maximum potential, but there’s no way they are losing in the first round. Considering how OKC embarrassed them in the last game, the Lakers have multiple reasons to make this a quick series.

  • http://Yahoo.com 3233569658

    Laker will tame the series in the fifth or six game

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    Durant v Kobe:
    first to 80 free throws for the series wins.

  • chintao

    Memo to Kevin Durant: Please hoot the lights out and then punch Fphil Jax in the fvcking face.

  • chintao

    ^ SHOOT. Actually, it might be even better if he punched the lights out, then SHOT Fphil Jax in the fvucking face.

  • chintao

    Got me so mad, I can’t even type right.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Kevin Durant Feels Disrespected By Phil Jackson

  • Jon

    Forget Durant shooting the lights out. I’d be happier if he just punched Jackson. Cunt.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Phil Wins!!