L.A. Times: No matter how many minutes a player gets, whether it’s two minutes or 40, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson wants him to accept it without complaint.

It’s hard for some of the Lakers who aren’t playing much, and it’s equally hard on Jackson to shell out minutes on a team that is so deep and talented. He was able to play all 12 players on his active roster in the first two games because they were blowouts, but his goal is to keep his players fresh for the long haul.

So far, Pau Gasol is averaging 36 minutes a game, tops on the team. Kobe Bryant is second with 32. Luke Walton, who averaged 23.4 minutes last season, is averaging 4.7 this season, the least of any active player, though he has played in all three games.

“It’s just trying to keep everybody prepared to contribute,” Jackson said Tuesday. “Sometimes you can only play a guy a couple of minutes, or maybe five minutes.

“They just have to understand that whatever they have to do, to go in there and play is an important part of it.”

Jackson recalled how he has inserted players for the last 30 seconds of a quarter and they found a way to contribute in that limited time.

“It’s too early for guys to worry about it right now,” Jackson said. “A coach can always read disappointment on a player’s body language. But this is a team that wants to win and they know to do so they have to be willing to put ‘me’ second to team. That’s an important aspect of it.”

  • http://TheVerveNerve.com Billy Kupchak

    Everyone on the roster should be happy they’re even suiting up! :cool:

  • ricky

    i understand that as a player, you would want to play as much as you can because thats what you are there to do. however, if i were a player on this team which is so deep and talented, i would rather sit back and relax my way to the championship. =)

  • Drake Hunter

    What Phil is basically saying in this article is that Luke should stop complaining about his minutes and just be lucky that your on a championship team. Your contract is so bad that no one wants you otherwise we shipped you to the Clippers or Memphis and you can play all 48 minutes if you want.

  • Drake Hunter

    Luke if you really want to play, you should demand a trade and force the Lakers to make a move even though I’m sure the Lakers are already trying to do that privately with all the free money we gave you.

  • Europeo

    One thing I´m worried is that we´re talking about Lakers Big Three (Kobe, Gasol, Bynum), but people doesn´t care Gasol, and Lakers has become in a sort of Big Two (Kobe and Bynum). This isn´t fair to Pau.

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #53870 Will Be Quoted Here]


    The way Luke played last year, 4 minutes of playing time per game is about 4 minutes too much.

    This guy is a joke. His “post moves” are laughable – the ball gets raked out of his hands time and time again. And his outside shot is horrendous. No quickness, no hops, basically no talent. Unfortunately we have the only GM dumb enough to sign this rag – and we’re stuck with him for 5 MORE YEARS! God Help Us!

    If Luke wants to be productive he should consider working full time in his restaurant.

  • BALLIN’08

    Trevor Ariza is looking at Luke right now like….” this sorry @$$ motherf^c%a is making my money right now…” lol.

  • BALLIN’08

    GIVE ARIZA AN EXTENSION…DUMP LUKE. HELL IF IT comes down to ODOM and ARIZA DUMP LAMAR. HE’s not getting the fat contract extension he wants and he knows it.

  • Phil Jackson

    All you people are so stupid i know what im doing… but i was thinking of tradeing bynum and gasol for Yi Jianlian, he is such a presence in the key (way bigger presence then bynum and Gasol) that i think to win the championship this year we’re gonna need Yi and Shaq Back also… thats why I’m trading kobe to the suns for shaq, grant hill, and 5th round draft pick. so our starting lineup will look like this

    PG: Sasha
    SG: Grant Hill
    SF: Sun Yue
    PF: Yi
    C: Shaq

    now that is a playoff contending team that for sure wont be stopped by the Celtics this year!

    i know all u Kobe fans are gonna get mad but its the best for the future for Laker basketball.

    Sincerely, Phil Jackson


  • ojt

    luke is a freaking joke,the only basketball knowledge he has is getting on his knees for pj. Probably will burn hie bbq place if he tries to cook.Hey luke,get some pride and quit basketball,join your bonehead dad who makes negative comments of kobi but none of you.

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  • http://lakerappraisal.blogspot.com/ Chucky Atkins

    Walton’s contract is too big to unload. So he’ll be a Laker for the next two years and better find a way to contribute more than he’s been.


    [Comment ID #53880 Will Be Quoted Here]

    WOW you ignorant bast**d. When we signed look for a 5 year deal it was 2 years ago, the season when he was leading the league in 3 point % for the 1st half of the season and finished with about 5th. The guy that every night he showed consistent nights of greatness that the coaching staff, the players, everyone liked him. I bet most of all these fools that always talk sh*t about him liked him as well. And now everytime a trade rumore or anytime something goes bad that night for the LAKERS, LUKE’s name always pops up. And last season when he strugled a lot with injuries you guys all hated him and wanted him out. It’s like you all forgot about that previous year. I bet if we wern’t blessed with this great coaching staff, GM, the whole organization, most of you guys wouldn’t even watch the LAKERS play. The same with CHRIS MIHM. When he went down with that injury a fews years back all you guys talked sh*t about him and it’s like you forgot how much he helped this LAKER team before the injury. So f*ck each and everyone of you.