Phil Jackson said today that the Lakers’ No. 1 priorities for training camp are simple. “We want to try and make this transition for Ron Artest seamless, get our players playing at a level that they can approximate the chemistry they’ve had on the court in past years and get some of the players in condition, like Lamar (Odom), who’s been busy all summer.”
That was in reference to Odom’s upcoming wedding.
In a slightly more serious tone, Jackson admitted he is concerned about distractions derailing the Lakers’ chase for a second straight NBA title. He said the Lakers would attempt to curb the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites by the players.
“It’s going to be something we have to talk about, without a doubt,” he said. “I don’t expect them to leave it behind. There’s a tendency for those things to continue or follow us, but they’re going to have to get acclimated. There’s a certain amount of privacy we’re going to have to demand from that, so that our business doesn’t become street business.”
Jackson said he has not spoken to team owner Jerry Buss about a new contract. Jackson, who turned 64 earlier this month, is signed through the end of this season.
“I have not, I have not talked to Jerry about it (coaching beyond 2009-10),” he said. “You know, my concern obviously when I came back during the summer to shoot that (cellphone) commercial, it was very serious that Kurt (Rambis) was going to be chosen (to coach Minnesota) and to discuss with them (Buss) how we should approach that.
“And they felt it was an impossible situation to try to interrupt that process that was ongoing with Kurt leaving and becoming the coach of the Minnesota team and myself having a year left on that contract. So, we just had to let the business take its own course. When I suggested that it set up a lame-duck situation, they said they hoped the duck wasn’t lame. We’ll see how the season goes, right?”