He Seems To Know His Stuff

 —  November 30, 2004

Phil Jackson was promoting his book and talking with a writer at the Chicago Tribune (subscription required) about the Lakers.

Jackson is asked about the Lakers, whom he took to three titles and four Finals appearances in five years, and he says he hasn’t watched even a quarter yet.

“I’ve kind of followed them by association with friends and people involved I’m close to,” he says. “They want to run and gun and up-tempo their game, but I don’t see it happening. They’re going to end up being pretty much a half-court team.

“But with Kobe there they have a chance to be in games.”

“The big key with the Lakers,” Jackson says, “will be them getting Lamar Odom involved and making him an important part of the team. You need two really strong weapons, if not a third. They’re going to be an exterior team, occasionally flashing guys in the post. If Kobe has to take it upon himself to finish every game out or every game they get in trouble and be reliant in his scoring, it could be tough for them. But I think they can win close to 50 games, somewhere in that range.”

Pretty spot on assessment from a guy who hasn’t “watched even a quarter yet.” Despite the wishes of the owner for a return to “Showtime” this Laker team is a half-court team, averaging one fewer possession per game than last season.

Update: The Los Angeles Times picked up this story today.