Phil on the Heat, Kobe and the media

DALLAS — Lakers coach Phil Jackson went on ESPN’s L.A. radio outlet today and he addressed some of his favorite topics, including the Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant and how he sends messages to his players through reporters. Highlights included:

Jackson on the Heat: “I personally don’t think they can get by Boston. I think Boston is too good a team. I think a team is still going to win. But there’s a chance that they will, and they can maybe round themselves into a team by that time and do that. Boston is older and they have to go through the rest of the schedule without having some kind of breakdown of players. (Ray) Allen and (Kendrick) Perkins, etc., they are just really a good team.”

Jackson on Bryant’s future as a superstar: “I’ve encouraged him to maybe take a look at some of Michael (Jordan’s) career. In ’97,’98, his last few years of Michael’s play when the Bulls were still able to win it, but you could see that there was some tailing off of his capabilities and ability. Maybe not much. And it’s not quite as comparable, but it’s pretty close. I think that (Kobe has) a couple years of play that are still left, and he’s got to monitor it a lot. And he’s got to do what he’s doing now… to still crank it up and get his team performing at a high level. Those things will continue because he’s got the knowledge and the desire to do those things that will bring him to a championship, or to competing at (the only) level where he can live. That’s the only place where he can live, is where he can be at the top.”

Jackson on using the media to get a point across to his players: “I do sometimes say the most honest thing. Reporters will ask me a question, and I’ll be very blunt and make a statement that I think is as true as I can make it, but there’s always a little encouragement to do better and improve at certain levels, and I don’t miss that opportunity to do that. I think the press is there for your services as a coach, and there’s a message there you can use to get across and I think it’s important for a coach or anybody in that position to use that position as an opportunity.”

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