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Phil Jackson On Kobe’s Duties, The X-Factor, And Rodman

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Phil Jackson On Kobe’s Duties, The X-Factor, And Rodman
by Tas Melas
Phil Jackson’s Lakers just rolled the Jazz pretty easily in the first round.  The same Jazz team that was a real tough out for LA last season (going six games), was a pretty relaxing five for the lake-show this year.  LA goes in to the second round as the people’s choice against the Rockets – they’re an eight point favorite tonight in game one.  Everyone and their mother are expecting a Lakers-Cavs final, including Houston Rocket Tracy McGrady, as seen here on sportsradiointerviews.com.
What Houston brings to the table is a real hard-nosed, scrappy defense, but a slightly limited offense which centers around Yao Ming.  It’ll be a real nice match-up of a strong ‘D’ versus an incredible ‘O’ in this one versus five meeting.  Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson joined KLAC to discuss Kobe’s challenge, the x-factor in the series, and what Dennis Rodman changed about his coaching style.
On Ron Artest and Shane Battier defending Kobe:
“Artest has size and strength and Battier has savvy and size, he’s 6′8″.  They’re both real good, it’s a challenge for Kobe, he does well against them, it’s a challenge for him.  That makes the games interesting for us because as a coaching staff we gotta make sure Kobe doesn’t take the bait of, ‘Well I’m gonna score on this guy’ regardless because that’s part of the nature of the beast – that he remains faithful to the team game…”
On Ron Artest being the x-factor in the series:
“He is kinda like the x-factor for this team.  They probably don’t know what they’re gonna get from him every game and neither will we.  He had games where he didn’t look interested in scoring, didn’t really challenge offensively, was content playing defense and working through the games.  The last game of the series (in round one against the Blazers) was really the only game in the series where he came out with an offensive mindset, that ‘I need to score to help my team win’.  I think that was a recognition that Yao was being stifled by the pressure or a presence that the Portland Blazers had put on their defense to shut him down…”
On what Dennis Rodman made him change in regards to his coaching style:
“It took Dennis Rodman for me to learn to sit down and shut up because he drew energy from how I was on the sideline.  I was as active a coach early in my career as a lot of these coaches… Dennis would become animated the more I coached animatedly.  He was a personality that really fed off the people around him – he really wanted to be cool and calm and collected… At that point, it might be that Dennis would get his second foul and get kicked out of ball games, so in the late 90’s I started sitting down, observing, and leaving the officials alone.”

Listen to Phil Jackson on KLAC
Tags: Basketball, Houston Rockets, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Phil Jackson, Yao Ming

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