Phil Jackson: “We Entertained the Idea of Bringing Ron Artest Here a Couple Years Ago and I Think Ron is Going to Be a Really Big Addition to This Team”

September 21, 2009 – 10:20 am by Jimmy Shapiro

SRI continues to work in new writers. This post is courtesy of Chris Fedor of WKNR in Cleveland.  Two years ago, the Lakers made it to the NBA Finals where they were pretty much blown away by the Boston Celtics and had some of their weaknesses exposed.  They came back hungrier and more focused than ever to capture the NBA title in the 2008-2009 season.  The Lakers finished with the best record in the Western Conference and carried home court advantage throughout the playoffs in the Western Conference, something that was pivotal to their success.  LA also had a healthy Andrew Bynum coming back, a better Trevor Ariza and a full season with Pau Gasol. Things lined up perfectly for Kobe Bryant to get his fourth ring and Phil Jackson to continue to cement his legacy as one of the best coaches in NBA history with his 10th NBA title.

 

The Lakers went on to capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy by beating the Orlando Magic and they are coming back this season with maybe even a better roster than the one that won the title.  The Lakers lost Trevor Ariza in the offseason to Houston, but they added Ron Artest to try to make a run at back-to-back NBA Championships.  Ron Artest certainly comes with some risk, but when he stays in line he’s a very dynamic player.

Phil Jackson joined Fox Sports Radio with Petros and Money to talk about coming off an NBA title, the addition of Ron Artest and his future with the Lakers.

On whether or not there is any difference in the feeling this year in the offseason as opposed to the season before:

“Well, I don’t know about relief.  I just know there’s a certain sense of angst when you lose.  There’s a certain bad taste where you’re like ‘oh man, we got to where we wanted to go, but didn’t get the job done.’  You have to be happy getting to those positions in basketball and getting the opportunities, but I hate to mess it up when you get there.  We just felt like we weren’t quite experienced enough as a team.  We were still a little bit young and still a little bit green in our combination of chemistry and personality and how to use ourselves in the best possible way.”

On message for the team this year coming off a title:

“I don’t think it’s emotional at all.  I think it’s a very logical, plotted course that we have to take.  There’s no doubt that the West is still going to be a tough, tough conference to survive.  We’re going to have to plan our way through a marathon race without any injuries or hiccups in the year to get to where we want to get to.  I like the way we worked last year as a basketball team.  I think the year before we did a great job finishing the year and getting those 60 something wins.  I would like to see us be able to have a season like that again without running dry or pushing ourselves to the limit that would cause some kind of effect in our playoff run.  Everybody knows the second season is what really counts in how you play.”


On whether he knows how he’s going to use Ron Artest:

“Yes I do.  I’ve spent some time thinking about it. Ron has a real knack of being a top defender and an aggressive player on the defensive end of the court.  I felt a couple of years ago when we were looking for some people that could help this team move up in the rankings from where we were, we entertained the idea of trying to get Ron on the team to bring that toughness and defensive mentality to our team.  This is really an addition to our game that we think is important.  Not to say that we’re not going to miss (Trevor) Ariza.  We’re definitely going to miss Trevor in our game.  There’s a certain sense of how he plays.  He didn’t need a lot of shots, he didn’t need a lot of things run for him as a player to be happy and to contribute.  His defensive capabilities and steals to get through picks and get back to his man were invaluable to us last year in the playoffs.  But we think overall that we probably have a more balanced and difficult team to defend and to score against on this team.  I think Ron’s going to be a really big addition to this team.  Not only defensively, but he can do some things offensively that’ll be able to help our team and people will be surprised.”

Listen to Phil Jackson on Fox Sports Radio with Petros and Money

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  1. 13 Responses to “Phil Jackson: “We Entertained the Idea of Bringing Ron Artest Here a Couple Years Ago and I Think Ron is Going to Be a Really Big Addition to This Team””

  2. “Two years ago, the Lakers made it to the NBA Finals where they were pretty much blown away by the Boston Celtics and had some of their weaknesses exposed.” THEY WERENT SWEPT. THEY DIDNT BARELY WIN 1 GAME. THEY BEAT THE CELTICS TWICE AND LOST CLOSE HARDFOUGHT GAMES UNTIL THE SECOND OF GAME 6. THAT HARDLY CONSTITUTES BEING BLOWN AWAY. DID YOU WATCH THE FINALS?

    By joel on Sep 21, 2009

  3. “The Lakers finished with the best record in the Western Conference and carried home court advantage throughout the playoffs in the Western Conference, something that was pivotal to their success. LA also had a healthy Andrew Bynum coming back..” THEY ALSO HAD HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE THROUGHOUT THE PLAYOFFS IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE LAST YEAR, BUT HOW WAS IT PIVOTAL THIS YEAR? AND ANDREW WAS FAR FROM HEALTHY AND AN ABSOLUTE NON FACTOR. ITS BLOGGERS LIKE YOU THAT MAKE ME HOPE YOU DO THIS FOR FREE CAUSE THERES NO WAY SOMEONES PAYING YOU FOR YOUR SHOTTY ANALYSIS.

    By joel on Sep 21, 2009

  4. YO JOEL, SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR KEYBOARD? I THINK WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS ANNOYING, DON’T YOU AGREE? THE ONLY THING MORE ANNOYING THAN THAT IS wRiTiNg LiKe ThIs! AND FLAMING THE BLOGGER… IN ALL CAPS!

    By bong on Sep 21, 2009

  5. Yeah, the MAN WRITING IN CAP’S GIVES WELL THOUGHT OUT, SOLID CRITICISM OF YOUR JOURNALISTIC TECHNIQUE.

    PAY ATTENTION TO HIM!!!

    By Sean Rodrieguez on Sep 21, 2009

  6. First, to Joel:

    Aside from typing in all caps (a blog comment no-no as you’ve already seen), you do bring up something that made me cringe- You take the phrase “pretty much blown away” and turn it into “swept” or “got killed.”

    Re-watch the finals against Boston- the Lakers WERE pretty much blown away. Losing huge leads, getting absolutely blown away in the final game, etc. I’m a huge Laker fan and I can admit it was a shellacking dealt by the Celtics that year. Why so bitter?

    Back to the post: It’s a shame Phil mentioned that Trevor Ariza didn’t need plays drawn up for him to be happy with his contributions and failed to mention how he felt Ron Artest would feel in that regard. To be honest, it’s one of my chief concerns with him being on the team- he’s not a ball hog; he’s an attention hog (see everything he’s done this off-season for proof). Sure he’ll get some acclaim as an excellent defender (especially on the Lakers which provide much more exposure for him) but will it be enough? 2 or 3 steals a game and holding a leading scorer under 15 points is great and all but it won’t jump out at you on the box score. Will the entertainer and showman in Artest be content with not being the flashiest player on the team?

    By Ryan Kane on Sep 21, 2009

  7. The Finals in 2008 were a complete embarrassment.

    I’m a die hard Lakers fan. I watch the pre-season games with my nose on the screen. I throw things (like glass bottles) at the TV when they are playing bad. My family sadly has to deal with me living vicariously thru the team and with that I have no problem saying the Lakers were KILLED in the 2008 Finals.

    Game 4 was horrible. No team had ever given up a bigger lead to lose a Finals game and it was a HUGE game to lose.

    Game 6 was even worse. No team had ever been beaten worse in a Finals deciding game. It was a lose of epic proportions. It was atrocious. It was disgusting. It was embarrassing. Game 6 was the worse Lakers loss I ever had the horror of seeing with my own eyes and I imagine it was probably equal to whatever happened pre-1970 in terms of bad losses.

    —————-

    anyway, Go LAKERS! I hope to see this line-up at least a little. Maybe even during pre season.

    Bynum
    Gasol
    Artest
    Kobe
    Odom

    PLEASE Phil. They can play it against the Mavs. I know that.

    By Jonny on Sep 22, 2009

  8. “It’s a shame Phil mentioned that Trevor Ariza didn’t need plays drawn up for him to be happy with his contributions and failed to mention how he felt Ron Artest would feel in that regard. To be honest, it’s one of my chief concerns with him being on the team- he’s not a ball hog”

    yup. The knock you’ll constently hear on Artest (besides the “he’s crazy” thing) is, “he’s over dribbling” and “he taking bad shots”

    I’m hoping against hope he takes a role that makes him 100% maniac defender who plays within the offense and hits all those open shots he’s bound to get.

    Ariza was a bad/mediocre shooter last year. He shot something like 31% from the 3pt line. Artest is a good shooter. He should get those same looks and make around 40% imo. He’ll get some touches in the post backing up Kobe at the 2 (Sasha who?) and if he plays his role he should put up 14ppg.

    I hope that satisfies him. It should. The name of the game is winning and he’ll do his best to help the team win by contributing what’s needed of him not by over dribbling and over shooting.

    I think he knows this.

    By Jonny on Sep 22, 2009

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