David Stern may have threatened to suspend coaches who influence the referees but that didn’t stop Lakers coach Phil Jackson from letting loose Friday. The creative Zen Master delivered two knockouts with one punch and there probably isn’t a whole lot Stern can do about it. Much like when Phil got inside Kevin Durant’s head prior to the Thunder series saying KD was getting calls like a superstar, Jackson took a jab at Suns point guard Steve Nash on Friday and primed the officials at the same time:
Jackson praised Nash this week for pushing the Suns past San Antonio despite playing with a comically swollen right eye, but he wasn’t as flattering when asked whether it was tough for the Lakers to simulate the perennial All-Star during their practices this week.
“Yeah, because you can’t carry the ball like he does in practice,” Jackson said. “Can’t pick that ball up and run with it.”
You see how he does that? Now he has Nash self-conscious about carrying the ball, and the referees subconsciously will be thinking about this as well. Whether Nash or the officials will be impacted by the comments remains to be seen but there’s no question that Jackson’s set the agenda. And what possible penalty can David Stern impose? How do you contend with genius? You just have to let it go and chalk up another victory for the X-man.
Lakers take time to rest and zing Suns’ Steve Nash [LA Times]