Phil Jackson, chief architect of the Knicks, recently made a statement LeBron James didn’t like. Phil is a master of psychological warfare and his statement and LeBron’s response shows he’s only getting better.
LeBron would have been wise to have ignored the statement and had no comment or just laughed if asked about it. Instead he made sure we knew how unhappy he was. LeBron would have been smart to have used energy spent making a public statement and preparing that statement on improving his game or becoming a better leader or father.
Phil coached two of the mentally strongest players in the game’s history, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. LeBron showed his mental weakness when he left Cleveland and again when he left Miami. Phil, because he is infinitely kind, showed us how weak LeBron still is. Phil, because he is a teacher of the highest order and a lover of mankind, taught us who is a king and who is still just a pawn.
Kevin Love, who exploded for something like 34 points in a quarter on Wednesday, found out that he is just a pawn in wannabe king but just a pawn Kyrie Irving’s world. Pass first point guards like Magic, Stockton, and Kidd would have fed Love the ball until he couldn’t lift his arms to shoot. Instead, Kyrie made sure that he got his shots, made the game about himself, and deprived us of seeing Love go for 55, 60, 65, or 70. Sadly we’ll never know how high the ferocious scorer out of UCLA could have flown.
The great Doug Collins also coached Michael Jordan and knows a lot about how a point guard is supposed to play. Doug was an extraordinary college player and a very good pro. He was on the ’72 USA Olympics team that got cheated out of a gold medal. Doug is a tough guy who played through injuries that would sideline many of today’s players. Had Kyrie done to him what he did to Love, there’s a decent chance he would have rearranged Kyrie’s face. Had Kyrie done to Kobe or MJ what he did to Love, the on court and locker room confrontations would have been legendary.
Doug does NBA in studio and game analysis for ABC and ESPN. Doug has incredible knowledge of the game and is a strong communicator. He has an excellent delivery and we are fortunate to hear and see him work.
This piece was written by Jim Swigart. Jim has been seriously writing for at least eight years and previously wrote about music for a now defunct online magazine for about two years. Jim briefly blogged about sports for an online site and currently blogs weekly about sports on his own site.
His academic background is in business and math. He has done numerous work tasks besides writing. My interests include exercise, sports, music, and politics.