Jackson Q-and-A

Phil Jackson met with reporters for almost 30 minutes this morning at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. Here’s some of the question-and-answer session:

Question: “What are your thoughts on the upcoming season? How do the players look from what you’ve seen of them out there?”
Jackson: “I don’t watch them play very much when they playing around at this time. They’re too undisciplined for me at this point, a bunch of colts out there having a good time. So, we try to let them have a good time and discipline them later. We’re excited about our year. A lot of the same players are coming back. There haven’t been a whole lot of changes. Obviously, having Andrew (Bynum) coming back is a change, is a difference. We think we’re healthy coming into this training camp. We have a couple of things, but we’re relatively healthy. We think some of our players have played a little too much basketball this summer, with Kobe (Bryant) and Pau (Gasol playing in the Olympics last month), so we’ll generate a camp around their limited work, at least for this first week.”

Question: “Kobe didn’t opt for pinkie surgery, what’s your take on that?”
Jackson: “I think it was a good idea. I think regardless of the correction that might have done by the surgery … I don’t think there’s any more of a risk than if he had surgery and got his finger caught in a jersey again. There’s probably going to be a little less strength there. He’s going to be fine. He played all summer with it. I wasn’t happy with the way he shot the ball, but he’s adjusted to that.”

Question: “How has Andrew looked?”
Jackson: “Just looking at Andrew, it looks great to see him. He’s lost the edge of how to play continual basketball from A to Z. He’s still in the playground kind of stage. We’ll see if he can get to that level where you compete at every moment you’re on the floor. … That’s something Andrew was just getting a hold of when he was injured last year. We need to get him back to that space.”

Question: “What the reasonable expectations for him? A lot of people see him as the missing piece to take this team to the championship.”
Jackson: “We’ve seen Andrew play about 20 (good) games in three seasons, and that’s about it. He played, obviously, more games than that last year, but he reached a certain potential point where we saw a light go on and he had an idea of how to play to be competitive. What I’m going to ask Andrew to do in this offense is to rebound offensively and to set picks and to be a pivotal point in our offense. I’m not asking him to be a one-on-one scoring. He’s going to be a guy who’s going to shore up the defense, which I think is a pivotal aspect. Rebound, which I think is the second-most important thing in our offense. … Now we know Pau is a different animal on the post. He’s more of a polished scorer down there. To adjust the two of them on the floor at the same time and Lamar (Odom) at a wing spot is going to be our goal this year at training camp, to figure out to do that.”

Question: “How are you feeling, physically going into the season?”
Jackson: “I’m feeling really good. How are you feeling? I’ve had a good summer. I’m looking forward to it. We want to get back to where we were at season’s end last year and have a different result.”