Never simple in L.A.: The politics behind Phil Jackson and Andrew Bynum’s disagreement
But Bynum is a trigger. Jim Buss takes credit for the team picking him tenth overall in the 2005 NBA draft. The President -or owner’s son, you decide- validates himself through Bynum’s success. Any news on his five-man raises his blood pressure. And Jeannie Buss is seriously involved with Jackson. She has admitted that agreeing with the Zen-Master on team issues has caused waves with her family …
Player sees his role one way. Coach sees it differently. They disagree. This is a regular occurrence in the NBA. But player and coach must find common ground. Or one must move on.
In case you missed it, HoopsVibe News (through The L.A. Daily News) reported that Phil Jackson challenged Andrew Bynum’s goal of averaging 20 points next season with Los Angeles, but felt 10 rebounds was attainable.
“Not possible," Jackson said. "It’s not possible. There’s just not enough offense for everyone to do that kind of stuff."
Jackson’s only quibble was with Bynum’s desired scoring average. Jackson said he believes Bynum can average 10or more rebounds.
"That’s realistic, 10rebounds, three blocks, some changed shots … maybe a charge a game – those are the things we want to see happen with his defense," Jackson said. "That’s going to make us a good team.” (HoopsVibe News linked to L.A. Daily News)
So these two disagreed, but found common ground. They had to. Bynum isn’t leaving. Neither is ‘Zen-Master’.
This wasn’t a simple case of player and coach having a difference of opinion. Things are usually political with the Lakers, each story multi-layered and complicated.
Right now, Bynum is currently negotiating an extension. More points, like a 20 per night average, means more leverage. And more leverage means more money in the next contract.
Jackson has nine NBA Titles, the same as Boston’s Red Auerbach. Ten sets the all-time mark for coaches. Winning that elusive championship depends on Bynum defending, not scoring. After all, Pau Gasol is the second option.
Then there is ownership. Unlike last year, all is quiet on the Buss front. Jim and Jeanie (the son/ daughter of figure head Jerry are both employed in the front office) aren’t arguing on live radio. No long lost relative is dropping cryptic Kobe thoughts on his myspace page, either.
But Bynum is a trigger. Jim Buss takes credit for the team picking him tenth overall in the 2005 NBA draft. The President -or owner’s son, you decide- validates himself through Bynum’s success. Any news on his five-man raises his blood pressure.
And Jeannie Buss is seriously involved with Jackson. She has admitted that agreeing with the Zen-Master on team issues has caused waves with her family.
Down the hall is Mitch Kupchack. The GM rightfully stood his ground and refused to deal Bynum for Jason Kidd –even if it infuriated Kobe Bryant. This resolve has likely strengthened his loyalty to Bynum.
Bynum and Jackson’s disagreement wasn’t a big deal. Only nothing is simple with the Lakers, except winning.
What do you make of Jackson’s comments? Is anything, other than winning, simple with the Lakers? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Vaguely Artistic.