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Phil Jackson Tweaked by T.J. Simers, Drops F-Bomb in Post Game Conference

Ahh, the perils of live television! ESPN and ESPNEWS got burned Sunday when they chose to run Phil Jackson’s post game news conference live following Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals series between the Lakers and Rockets.

Bothered by the notoriously fearless and often times disrespectful T.J. Simers, who asked if the Lakers were embarrassed by their loss to the Yao Ming-less Rockets, Jackson offered up this:

“Are we embarrassed?” Phil asked rhetorically. “No, we’re not embarrassed. No, Houston played a great game. Give them some f—ing credit. For real. This kid (Aaron) Brooks played great tonight. They played well.”

I agree with Phil here — sometimes a team losing isn’t because of what they did wrong but because of what the other team did right. That’s what happened with Houston. They were fired up, hot early in the game, and they held the lead. Aaron freakin Brooks had a career game with 34 points! Sometimes you can’t just criticize a team for losing but you need to credit the opposition for doing things well — that was the case on Sunday.

The nutter butters and harvey bars at Tirico Suave have the uncensored Phil Jackson cussing video if you’re interested.

Video: Kendrick Perkins Elbows Mickael Pietrus, Another Suspension Coming

Funny how we mentioned Stan Van Gundy going off on the league prior to Game 3 of the Magic/Celtics series for favoritism regarding suspensions. While the Magic played and won without point guard Rafer Alston Friday night, it looks like Boston will be without center Kendrick Perkins for Game 4 on Sunday. Check out this cheap shot he lays on Mickael Pietrus in the 4th quarter:

Here’s the way I look at things: you suspend Dwight Howard for his elbow on Samuel Dalembert last series, you have to sit Perkins down for this one. Kendrick connected with an elbow above the chest and it wasn’t like Kobe’s on Artest which was in the middle of a basketball play. Kendrick was holding his elbow high on purpose — almost headhunting there. It was a dirty play. Compare it with Howard’s:

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Stan Van Gundy Knows There’s a Double Standard with Playoff Suspensions

I spent the bulk of my radio show last week (yes, time to plug the show Friday night/Saturday morning, 2-8am ET on Sporting News Radio) bitching at the NBA for playing favorites regarding playoff game suspensions. They had no problem tossing Dwight Howard for Game 6 following his elbow of Samuel Dalembert in Game 5 last series vs. Philly, a suspension he did deserve. The league didn’t suspend Rajon Rondo for his hard foul in Game 5 on Brad Miller which was also the correct call, though Rondo deserved a flagrant for it. The one area where the league missed out and probably played favorites in my opinion is when they failed to suspend Rondo for Game 7 against the Bulls following his actions with Kirk Hinrich in Game 6. Rondo initiated the skirmish and threw either a hand or elbow towards Hinrich and definitely deserved the boot. But since Game 7 was the deciding game in an exciting series, the NBA went soft. Of course. Couldn’t be controversial by taking out one of Boston’s best players in a game of that magnitude. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy may have been wrong in his judgment of what deserved a suspension, but he is on-point about the NBA playing favorites:

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Rafer Alston’s Idiotic Slap on Eddie House Puts Magic in Terrible Spot

The Lakers/Rockets game on Wednesday night was notably physical. While the Celtics/Magic wasn’t as physical, they still had their moments. The standout moment was when Rafer Alston hit Eddie House in the back of the head with an open-handed slap. Alston claims House provoked it by throwing an elbow his way (which was totally harmless). House says it was just because Alston got pissed that House was draining shots over him all game-long. Check it out in case you missed it:

My boy Matt Watson feels Alston deserves a suspension and so do I. Frankly, I don’t see how you can watch a player slap someone for no reason other than being a poor sport and not punish them for it. Alston let his emotions and hurt feelings overcome him for a moment and he could end up costing his team big time. Remember that Alston was acquired in a trade with Houston once Jameer Nelson got knocked out for the season. It was pretty clear at that point that the Magic knew backup Anthony Johnson couldn’t get the job done. Tyronn Lue isn’t the answer either. So if there’s no Alston for Game 3, who does that leave, Courtney Lee who’s coming off sinus surgery and not even a point guard for them? Lue? Johnson? Rajon Rondo’s already had his way in two games so far against Alston (though he didn’t shoot too well in Game 1). It won’t be pretty against any of those others. Nice job, Alston. Way to help the team.

Video: Derek Fisher Checks Luis Scola with Elbow, Should be Suspended

The way Laker fans were acting following Fisher’s stinker in Game 1, they might actually be happy if Derek Fisher were to be suspended for Game 3 against the Rockets. Luis Scola seemed to be in the middle of every tussle in the second half of Game 2 Wednesday night against the Lakers, getting into it with Lamar Odom late in the third quarter. So when Scola went to set a screen on Derek Fisher, he got leveled. Check out this hockey-style check by Fish that resulted in a flagrant 2 ejection:

Fisher’s intention to make contact and hurt Scola, while leading with his elbow, makes me say this is suspension worthy. It will be up to the league so who knows what they’ll do (Scola’s flop-job won’t help Fisher, either). Maybe this is just the sort of thing that will make the Laker fans happy — not that they want 17 minutes of Farmar jacking up threes instead.

LeBron James on Winning the MVP: I Did it for the Kia

I was pretty surprised that the MVP voting turned out to be such a landslide in favor of LeBron James. Even though Dwyane Wade made an excellent charge after the All-Star break, his dropoff down the stretch made LBJ the easy selection. I just can’t believe it was that easy. LeBron got 109 of the 121 available first-place votes, dominating the race (Kobe and Chris Paul got two each, Wade got seven, and Dwight Howard got one). Upon receiving the award, LeBron told the members of the audience in attendance that he was really just doing it for the Kia (referring to the car given to the recipient of the award), and that he had visions of driving their fine SUV to motivate himself while he was playing on the court. OK, that never actually happened, but it’s funny to think that a guy who drives a six-figure Ferrari to the event is getting a $27,000 car for free. Right, because that’s just what he needs.

LeBron actually accepted the award at his high school in Akron, praised his teammates and said that it was their award though it would be kept at LeBron’s house. I pretty much have to agree with Jimmy from SI’s Extra Mustard who wrote: “unless your team is playing the Cavs, how can you not like LeBron James? The guy accepted his MVP trophy at his high school yesterday, and gave each of his teammates a new camera.” He seems like a pretty classy guy, and the same can actually be said for most of the players involved in the MVP race. Now that he’s 24 and already won his first MVP, the logical question is to ask how many more can he win?

I think MVPs are hard to come by because you never know what’s going to draw the attention of the media and you never know when they’ll grow tired of rewarding a guy for doing the same thing year after year. You also never know when they’ll give it to someone else just because “the guy finally deserves one.” If I had to make a guess about LeBron, I’d say he’s due for four or five MVPs in his career. I’m just hoping he doesn’t wind up teaming up with another star player like Wade or even a guy like Bosh — that would be totally unfair.

By the way, nice to see that Mike Brown dressed up for the ceremony.

Ron Artest Wants to Know if You Think His New Mohawk Is Hot

Gotta love Ron Ron. First he meets with Craig Sager to say that Brandon Roy was the best guy he’s played against. Apparently unfazed by the backlash from that interview, he met with Craig yet again, this time to show off his new do. In case you missed Game 1 between the Rockets and Lakers, Ron Artest was sporting a mohawk with some designs carved into the sides, including the Rockets logo. As NBA tipoff shares with us, Artest just wants to know if you think the cut is hot:

I would say that Anthony Mason definitely approves. I’m not gonna lie either, that is kinda hot — you know, as far as Artest haircuts go. I think the Lakers might have to lose on purpose just so the world can see what his inverted mohawk will look like. Skeets has more on the Artest ‘do at Ball Don’t Lie.