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#pounditSaturday, February 4, 2023

Phil Jackson: LeBron James travels every other time he catches the ball

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson is not thrilled with the current state of basketball, and the issues he has with today’s game even extend to the best player in the world.

In a recent feature for Bleacher Report, Jackson told Howard Beck that the beauty has been taken out of basketball to make it more “individualized.” As an example, he cited the fact that LeBron James gets away with traveling quite frequently.

“I watch LeBron James, for example,” Jackson explained. “He might [travel] every other time he catches the basketball if he’s off the ball. He catches the ball, moves both his feet. You see it happen all the time. There’s no structure, there’s no discipline, there’s no ‘How do we play this game’ type of attitude. And it goes all the way through the game. To the point where now guys don’t screen—they push guys off with their hands.”

We can’t help but think of that casual travel LeBron got away with during Game 2 of the NBA Finals, though it didn’t exactly affect the outcome of the game:

Jackson is also disgusted with the overall lack of organization on offense around the NBA.

“When I watch some of these playoff games, and I look at what’s being run out there, as what people call an offense, it’s really quite remarkable to see how far our game has fallen from a team game,” he said. “Four guys stand around watching one guy dribble a basketball.”

That may be how it works with teams like the Cavs, but what do you expect? There were times during the playoffs when LeBron literally carried the team to a victory. Sometimes you just stick with what works.

What Jackson is really frustrated with, perhaps, is the fact that his notorious triangle offense has not translated to success for the New York Knicks. If you want to know how players feel about it, just ask J.R. Smith.

Is the triangle failing because the NBA now consists of four guys standing around watching one guy dribble? That’s for people like Jackson — who make the millions — to figure out.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

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