(above : a man whose callous disregard for his industry peers has made him a national pariah. And on the left, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson).
Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy has already taken umbrage at Phil Jackson all but declaring current Heat head coach Erick Spoelstra a lame duck, recalling Van Gundy’s allegedly amicable departure from Miami that coincided with Pat Riley kicking himself downstairs, but the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey has more of a problem with Jackson’s choice of words than the gist of his message. Of Van Gundy’s 2005 exit, Vecsey reminds us, “other than quitting on your team in mid-semester being an endearing brotherly trait, it’s not known for sure if anything else was behind Van Gundy’s bailout.”
As painful as it is for me to agree with Stan on anything, and that goes double for his supercilious sibling, the mannequin makes a good point. Sounding like just another goofy talk-show voice, Jackson insulted Spoelstra, Riley, LeBron and Bosh without coming up for air or acuity.
Forget for the moment Jackson’s lack of professionalism for discussing the state of affairs of a fraternity member, you’d think someone who spent so many years in the minors and as an assistant before getting his first head coaching job would be sensitive to what Spoelstra’s going through and decline comment.
I’d have more respect for Jackson had he said what he really means in reply to those who maintain anybody could’ve coached Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaq and Kobe to championships: “See, it isn’t as easy as people think to coach superstars and be successful.”