Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at 12:05 pm  |  40 responses

Phil Jackson Says Pistons Used Flopping to Beat Lakers in 2004 NBA Finals

Troll Master Phil Jackson made the claim during a sports radio interview that one of the reasons Detroit was able to pull off a shocking upset of the mighty Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals, is that Pistons head coach Larry Brown taught and encouraged his big men to effectively flop against Shaquille O’Neal. Per the Detroit News: “Phil Jackson was brought in by the Pistons to help consult during their coaching search, but apparently he can’t let his Piston-inflicted wounds heal. Jackson has 11 championship rings as a coach but suffered arguably the most embarrassing loss of his coaching career at the hands of the 2004 Pistons, who defeated the star-studded Lakers in five games. Doing a radio interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo on Thursday, Jackson was asked how Shaquille O’Neal would fare if he were placed in Wilt Chamberlain’s era. [...] ‘Larry Brown taught guys to go down (flop) on Shaq and that’s one of the reasons they won in ’04,’ Jackson said. ‘He had the center, (Ben) Wallace as the David in that matchup and those (plays) were called as charges.’ The series wasn’t even as close as the 4-1 ledger indicated, as the Lakers’ only win came courtesy of Kobe Bryant saving them in Game 2 with a 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime. The Pistons blew the Lakers out in two of their four wins, including the clincher, where they led by 27 in the fourth quarter, in big part due to flopping, according to Jackson. ‘Shaq would put a shoulder into you and test how close he could get to the basket,’ said Jackson, who’s on a tour promoting his book ‘Eleven Rings.’”

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  • Zabbah

    Not true. In the official dvd of the 2004 Detroit Pistons champs they won through heart and defense.

  • l

    that 04 series was fixed those refs did a terrible job

  • Max

    I’m pretty sure it had more to do with Kobe shooting such a low percentage and not scoring as much and their 3rd leading scorer getting 6 points a game.

  • Melvin flynt


  • Melvin flynt


  • Lloyd

    It’s more than believable that Ben Wallace who was giving up 60+ pounds could go down from one shot from Shaq. It’s not like he was a finesse big man who used his post moves to score. Dude went through people.

  • spit hot fiyah

    flopping can swing a few plays here and there, but can not be responsible for a 4-1 beat down

  • danpowers

    the pistons played tougher and better than the lakers in that series. period.

  • JML-G

    04 Lakers was like this seasons Lakers on steroids to say the least and thats not quite a good thing

  • danpowers

    lol, good one

  • MikeC.

    This man is such a poor sport. LB out coached Phil to an alarming degree in that series, and The Pistons players out worked the Lakers. The only thing Phil has to gripe about is that Karl Malone was injured.

  • Tuomas Uotila

    Nope. They simply whooped your HOF hineys reeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaal good.

  • Conor

    One of the biggest Lakers fans/Kobe supporters who frequents this site, but even I must admit that Kobe shot them out of that series in a misguided attempt to compensate for Malone’s injury (which was the ultimate catalyst for their loss, imo).

    Shaq’s interior defence didn’t help much either.

  • Conor

    *I’m one of…

  • Conor

    And Jackson was outcoached for the first time in his career (only happened twice: ’04 & ’08), as Mike C wrote.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


    Phil Jackson says “Kobe used chucking in 2004 finals to help Lakers flop away title”

  • ryanw

    Says the coach that has never coached his own talent up to championship caliber. He has inherited championship teams wherever he went. Bulls already had the talent when he stepped in. Lakers already had Kobe and Shaq when he stepped in. Why does this knucklehead get so much credit? Hell I could have won six championships with the Bulls and whatever he won with the Lakers. Those teams were allstar caliber teams. Just an opinion. I could be wrong, but I don’t see it that way!

  • jim lu

    phil jackson would do well at finding a coach for a team he has worked in beforelike the Lakers Organization.He still as some unrequitted disdain for Larry Browns ‘ Pistons.The glory should go to Brown’s predeccesor.Pistgons have to go on their own ,find a damn coach and rebuild this team……It needs more than a lube and an oil change if you know what I mean.They don’t have/want to spend the money…….I believe I will follow the HEAT!

  • jim lu

    during those games against the lakers,pistons made plenty 3 pt. jumpers.Larry Brown was like ridin’ in a Cadillac and Jackson was ridin’ a buick with 100,000 miles on it and the timing was missin’ some!

  • jim lu

    you may be right thogh a lot of teams were like that….Celts,pistons,just to name a few.Opposition seen too many fims of Larry’s Pistons and they starterd coming up short like the year Larry Brow was signed to another team during the Play offs. I still get my blood pressure up when I think about it!

  • harry johnson

    Pretty sure the Lakers in 2002 got a huge assist by one sided officiating in at least one game against the Kings in the WCF..

  • BugEyes

    Rip went off that series he must of went threw a 1000 screens that series


    dont bother about that 2002 series.tim donaughy already admitted he favors the lakers that series and yet people still crown them champs.

  • robb

    Troll master ftw

  • robb

    same here

  • roscoe

    the lesson here is…

    refuse to accept defeat. don’t ever accept defeat.

  • MikeC.

    If you jump ship like that, then you’re not a true fan. Go ahead and be a cHeat “fan”. Chump.

  • makoface

    well that evens out the series against the kings that got gifted to you phil.

  • shutup

    This is why I have always hated Ben Wallace. Dude was to big and strong to be getting thrown to the ground on spin moves and drop steps.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez


  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez


  • Drig

    Would prefer if you also mentioned Shaq’s inability to defend PnR , Malone getting injured and every role player underperforming as well.

    Kobe shot a pathetic % and was a major reason why they lost. But it must also be remembered that his % was teh best of all perimeter players. ALL of them.

  • Drig

    No excuses for missing FTs. LAL did get a huge assist in game 6. However, the Kings should’ve also made their FTs count.

    Kings had HCA in Game 7. They screwed up.

    Also, don’t worry about that title. The 2008 title more than made up for it. 1 game : James Posey had as many FTs as the Lakers team as a whole while playing sub minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Kobe shot 27 shots a game. He shot 153 more shots than Shaq in the playoffs alone.
    KOBE BRYANT SHOT THE BALL SO MUCH, LATRELL SPREWELL SHOT MORE SHOTS IN THE PLAYOFFS THAN SHAQ. (Think about that, Shaq made the finals. Played 4 more games. And still attempted less shots than Sprewell) .
    The Pistons scored over 90 twice in that series. There offense is not why Los Angeles lost. .
    Who cares if its the best % among perimeter players? Shaq shot the best % among ALL players. ALL of them.

  • Drig

    Yes. I know that. You and Caboose have drilled that stat into my head in the past lol.

    Which is why I said I’d prefer it if you ALSO mentioned the stuff I said.

    I also said Kobe’s % was a major reason they lost. The other half was because LAL D SUCKED. Mainly because it was getting distorted and broken waaaay too easily.

  • nbasucks

    the finals was rigged from the get go, there is no way that without stern’s help the crappy pistons could have won that series against the talent the lakers had that year. how was it won? at the free throw line look at the attempts by each game

    G1: PIstons 30 Lakers 18

    G2: Pistons 31 Lakers 25

    G3: Pistons 30 Lakers 13!!!

    G4: Pistons 41 Lakers 22

    G5:PIsonts 39 Lakers 33

    Do you really believe that there wasn’t one game where the pistons weren’t hacking more than the lakers? over the years, this is how stern manipulated the league with his refs. The nba is no different than the WWE, hard to accept but its the truth. Stern just wanted the lakers there to get the ratings but he had to balance out the titles so that everyone would be happy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/serenia.lowery Serenia Lowery

    This pistons just out played them, They played with more urgency. They were well coached. They didn’t have a star player so the shots and scoring were spread around. LA couldnt figure out a way to stop hamilton running through 3 screens, they couldn’t find any offense. Remember the 2004 pistons are the reason why they changed the “hand-check” rule. Their defensive intensity couldn’t be matched. And since the prima donna’s rule the NBA. It changed.

  • ClydeSays

    So bitter. The Pistons had the best defense for a few years in a row. They worked hard for that Ring.
    Move past it Phil…

  • JFranchiz

    if it prevents the best player in the game from being the best player in the game, it can definitely be responsible for a 4-1 beat down

  • Vinsanity

    So why didnt the previous coaches win with those same rosters?