Phil Part II

Here’s more from Phil Jackson’s press conference today:

Question: “Do you guys even think about that championship series or did you just throw it away?”
Jackson: “I don’t think we’ve forgotten about it, let alone not think about it. Jeanie made me watch those things they run on ESPN in the summer? The ESPYs. She made me watch that when I got back from Montana, just to spite me and make me watch those guys up there, saying ‘Our second victory in L.A.’ There’s still a little angst and anger there.”

Question: “Do you expect Boston to be just as formidable this season?”
Jackson: “I don’t care about them. I just care about us.”

Question: “How will you fit Gasol and Bynum together?”
Jackson: “I think there’s going to have to be an understanding on this team that there’s going to be personnel that are going to be better off against some opponents and some styles of play. Whether we have a small team like Golden State with a center and four small forwards out there playing, guys are going to have to adjust and sacrifice to meet the demands of it game by game. But we’re going to have the potential for a very tall, lanky, strong front line and if they can learn to play defense together they’re going to be a very formidable opponent to score against. Offensively, how we get those guys together with the size they have and the abilities they have as starters, that’s going to be interesting to see. That’s going to be a big challenge for our coaching staff.”

Question: “Some have picked this team to win a championship, how do you think this team will handle something like that?”
Jackson: “I don’t think it’s going to affect them. I think they know they failed in the Finals last year. I think they know they have a game they can play. Those are the players that may not be on the floor all the time this year. I think it’s a curious training camp for them, it’s one in which they have to figure some things out before we know how we’ll go in the regular season. I think these guys are ready to come in and work out.”

Question: “You just talked about that front line, have you spent a lot of time in the offseason thinking about what they can be doing? Are you excited about the prospect?”
Jackson: “That’s a word I don’t use very often anymore, excited. But you know I’m looking forward to seeing how they play. Lamar is going to have to make an adjustment. He’s had an advantage at power forward the last couple of season, especially playing power forward in a guard slot offensively. So he’s going to have to make some adjustments and we’re going to have to see how he does with that. Pau has a role to play on the floor with Andrew. He’s got to face the basket a little bit more. … So, yeah, we have some adjustments to make.”

Question: “Do you still consider this a young team or is it middle-aged?”
Jackson: “I think you could say we’re still on the young side, but our leaders are on the old side. Fish (Derek Fisher) and Kobe are considered old players. Thirty and 33, or whatever they are. They’re the senior citizens on this team. They’re experienced. But we have a lot of young players: Sasha (Vujacic), Jordan (Farmar), Andrew and Trevor (Ariza), so you’re talking about four very young players who play with a lot of speed and energy.”

Question: “Will you have to monitor Kobe’s minutes more this season?”
Jackson: “Without a doubt. Pivotal players, I think anything under 35 minutes makes it tough for them to stay involved in the game, to play with the kind of energy to carry it back on the floor. So you can’t let a player sit too long. I think 38 to 40 is too much at this time.”

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