Phil Jackson and Miami coach Pat Riley had nothing but kind words for each other on Thursday, as the surging Lakers downed the struggling Heat.
Before the game, Jackson was asked what he thought of a recent Sports Illustrated players poll which found that NBA players didn’t exactly luuuv playing for the notoriously demanding Riles.
“I think Pat runs a tight ship. A lot of players I know who’ve played there, Lamar for example, thought he dramatically improved his game there,” Jackson said.
A few minutes later, Odom confirmed as much:
“I was 24 and that’s exactly what I needed,” Odom said.
Riley in turn, was asked about his impressions of the Lakers:
“I think Phil has done an absolutely great job and then they made the trade of all trades and got Gasol and it put them over the top,” Riley said. “I’m very impressed by the other guys too. They have a lot of good young players who have matured and developed.”