The Lakers have been struggling recently, losing the Christmas day warmup game to the Bucks, getting hammered by the Heat, and getting spanked by the Spurs and gasp! Grizzlies. Phil Jackson’s coaching methods that typically are termed “genius” when the team is winning have now been deemed problematic since the team is losing. One such person who has struggled with Phil’s coaching style is Ron Artest, who has complained about being publicly embarrassed by his coach dating back to last season. Artest has admitted to being lost in the team’s offense, and it’s clear his fragile psyche is not responding well to Jackson.
According to a recent story at Yahoo! Sports, “at a recent practice, league sources said, Artest loudly confronted Jackson. As he tried to fit into the defending champions a season ago and earn his way, Artest grudgingly went along with Jackson’s public floggings. This season, Artest has less tolerance for it. Essentially, Artest told Jackson that if he wants to coach him, coach him. Just stop embarrassing him in public.”
The message is the same as last year, but the report that Artest loudly confronted Jackson suggests the situation has escalated. It’s information like this that confirms what Artest’s brother recently suggested about Ron’s future with the team. As for the Lakers, they’ll likely turn things around, but it’s hard to say they’re better than Boston, Miami, or San Antonio. Another three-peat seems unlikely at this point, but not out of the question.