Lakers coach Phil Jackson fired a preemptive strike at the Suns on Friday, saying their point guard Steve Nash illegally carries the ball while dribbling. The Suns weren’t going to sit back and let Phil get the best of them, so they responded on Saturday. Steve Nash got in a shot on Phil Jackson and coach Alvin Gentry called out the Lakers’ dirty tactics:
Nash: “I’ve never heard anyone accuse me of carrying it. I mean, the best coach in the league Gregg Popovich (of San Antonio) didn’t have a problem with it last week.”
Gentry: “We spent the day ducking elbows on post-ups, to see if we could duck elbows on post-ups, So it all works out, it all works out.”
That certainly was a good way for Nash to get back at Jackson who is considered by many to be the best coach in the league and possibly the best all-time. Alvin Gentry actually said the same thing prior to the Suns/Spurs series, so you have to wonder if that’s the consensus sentiment around the Phoenix locker room. As far as Gentry’s criticism, I believe the tone was more casual and joking than Nash’s and unfortunately it won’t garner the same attention from the refs as Jackson’s comments will. The anticipation for this series just picked up quite a bit.
Suns smirk at Jackson’s accusation of ‘traveling’ by Phoenix’s Nash [AP/SI]