Friday , Jun , 04 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

23rd Edition – June 7, 2004

Eleven rings as a coach (one CBA title) and one as a player. That would be a hell of a way for Phil Jackson to go out. Well, that is of course if the Lakers do what they’re supposed to do and dismiss the Pistons. But think about it, to win ten championships in today’s modern era is absolutely amazing. Never mind what Red Auerbach thinks, he’s a CRAB IN A BARREL who’s upset that his name will drop a notch in the record books. He needs to get over himself and be happy that he has NINE RINGS in his collection despite the fact that he won them during a period when the NBA was quite young.

23rd Edition - June 7, 2004

Does that invalidate his accomplishments? No. But my feeling is if the league was say a little more developed back then as it is now, the Celtics would have a few less banners. And that’s a fact, even though I can’t actually prove this theory of mine.


Anyway, the reason I bring all of this up is because I’m tired of the perceived lack of respect that exists towards Phil. You know how it goes. He’s not great; he’s lucky. Or if any coach had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant on their teams, they’d be champions as well. As if it was that easy. And if that were the case, I guess it doesn’t speak too highly about the coaching abilities of Doug Collins and Del Harris. I don’t recall any of those players winning the NBA title before Phil. Does anyone else?


Now, facing Detroit in this season’s Finals, his counterpart is Larry Brown, the Neo of basketball coaches (you know…”The One”), who undoubtedly will be looked upon as the superior of the two in terms of craft. Even though Larry Brown has yet to lead an NBA team to a title and has already lost to Jackson in the 2001 Finals. That’s like saying John Stockton (a great player) was better than Isiah Thomas (a great player and two time champion). Surdiculous. However, I’m sure Phil’s not losing any sleep over this. I mean how could he? He’s aware of his accomplishments. He knows he’s the greatest NBA coach of all time. Anyone who speaks against him is probably someone who’s NEVER won the Glory, insanely jealous, or has smoked so many cigars that it’s making him delusional.


At any rate, I hope Phil rides off into the sunset with another piece of jewelry, because I do believe it’s a wrap for him once this season is over. He’s always had a great sense of timing, and with everything that’s gone on with the Lakers this year; the timing couldn’t be better.


…………………


I love Charles Barkley for his candor and humor, but sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s talking about (remember your and you’re?). When he said Kobe Bryant doesn’t make other players better, I was beside myself. Props to Kenny Smith for speaking up on the matter. Sure Kobe likes to shoot, but to say that he doesn’t make others better is just inaccurate.


…………………


And speaking of Kobe, I know Richard Hamilton is doing an exceptional job of establishing his legend in these here playoffs, but for Lindsay Hunter to say that Hamilton should be mentioned in the same category as Number 8 is CRAZY!!!


…………………


I know this isn’t something that hasn’t been asked already, but how great a player is Kevin Garnett? The dude did everything a basketball player could possibly do on the court in the Western Conference Finals. He just moved into third place on my current favorite players list behind Kobe and Shaq. And that’s saying a lot for me since the list ended with Shaq.


…………………


If you’ve noticed this column has a Laker theme to it so far, then your observation skills are right on cue.


…………………


As a Laker fan, this is the most JOYLESS championship run ever. I hope they hurry up and win this thing so I can put this bizarre season behind me. Now don’t get me wrong, I want them to win the Glory, but it won’t make me happy. Just satisfied that at least I got something out of investing SO MUCH time into a team that brought me SO MUCH frustration. And it’ll still be fun to point out to the haters that my team won and theirs didn’t. Still, whatever happens next season, I’m looking forward to a new beginning.


…………………


Lets see, Tracy McGrady recently said he doesn’t want the Magic to use the first pick to draft a player who they’d have to wait on to develop. He wants to win now. Funny, but wasn’t McGrady a player whom the Toronto Raptors drafted, waited on for years to develop, and then subsequently LEFT THE TEAM (and country) for Florida once he displayed the remarkable abilities the franchise had hoped he would? And people wonder why I’m not feelin’ this cat.


…………………


Why do people get all worked up when professional athletes use war as an analogy for a big game, but don’t mind when warrior is used to describe a player who puts on an all out effort? Isn’t that hypocritical? I mean don’t warriors fight in wars?


…………………


That gold medal the USA Basketball team is supposed to win in the Olympic games this summer doesn’t look so assured anymore.


…………………


I’m feelin’ that new Adidas commercial that is commemorating KG winning the MVP award as much as I am the new Nike ad about Rasheed explaining the significance of his tattoos. As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see a national ad campaign that involved Rasheed Wallace. Times have changed.


…………………


Tim Duncan is so tight; he didn’t even have to speak in that American Express commercial. And you know they broke him off something nice. I know the rich get richer, but I didn’t know it was that easy.


…………………


Does anyone else find ESPN’s new field reporter Rachel Nichols a little weird besides me?


…………………


Making the Conference Finals exclusive to cable television was not cool to me. I have cable, but there are A LOT of people who don’t.


…………………


I was wrong about the Pacers. I thought they’d beat Detroit and get Rick Carlisle his much deserved just due. Oh well.


…………………


Was Reggie Miller a great all around player or just a great shooter who benefited from being the focal point of his team’s attack?


…………………


I don’t know if she can save the WNBA, but Diana Taurasi is official.


…………………


Enjoy the Finals because the end (of the season) is near.


Aiight y’all.