The greatest coach in NBA history should have done something to prevent the greatest collapse in NBA Finals history.

L.A. Times: Intrigued by the idea, shocked at its audacity, folks around town are whispering it.

Adjusting their Tivos, rubbing their eyes, NBA fans around the country are wondering it.

So, what the Zen, we might as well say it.

Was it Phil Jackson’s fault?

Does the blame for the greatest collapse in recorded NBA Finals history lie with the greatest coach?

Could this memorable, macabre wounding of Lakers tradition have been prevented by the man paid $10 million a year to carry the Band-Aids?

It was Boston Celtics 97, Lakers 91 . . . and how much Phil Jackson?

The answer is, enough.

Enough that it’s worth questioning.

Enough that it’s worth wondering how a man with nine championship rings can allow his team to blow a 24-point lead at a championship moment in a championship series.

Continue reading ‘Phil Jackson: Master of disaster?’

  • Sopi

    nothing is right when you lose
    everything is great when you win
    stop blaming each other, life goes on….

  • Smush Walton

    Here are some things that I have trouble understanding:
    – Why does Phil keep starting the space Cadet VladRad?
    – Why does Phil keep giving so many minutes to Smush Walton? Whenever he is on the floor disaster follows. This guy should not be on the floor anymore. Is Phil blind? Is he an old family friend of the Waltons? I just don’t get it!
    – Why don’t we play Ariza more?
    – Why is Phil so locked into his substitution rotations? When Fisher and the fragile Lamar are going great early in the game why stay locked into the regular season rotations and bring them out as scheduled? And bring in Smush Walton yet. Good God – haven’t we seen enough of this bumbling fool on the court?
    – During the meltdown couldn’t something different be tried? Don’t just sit there on your thumbs! Call some timeouts – get into some people’s faces! Chew some butts! Mbenga, Mihm, Newble – none of these guys couldn’t have helped in the finals? At least they can go out there for a few minutes and deliver some hard fouls. They can’t be much worse than the pathetic Smush Walton and VladRad.

    Phil has definitely had a lot of success in the playoffs in the past, but his most recent trips to the playoffs have not been that great. (Loss to Detroit, Loss to Phoenix twice, on hte verge of losing to Boston),

  • http://deleted berks24

    he and kobe should make the statement.there is no one to blame but them.
    phil should not have to put luke on d game start ariza or sasha on vlad
    play mbenga some mins to distruct kg he has a long arm to defend jumpshooter
    play kobe n pau on d entire second half.
    kobe has to do whatever it takes I don’t care if he ballhog scoring 30plus wins them
    he has to attemp 30 shots or more,attact d basket draws some fouls
    winning game 5 n 6 r not enough for redemption they must win championship to rejuvinate tragic lost.
    ….I can accept a loss but not like that …

  • Showtime

    I am not blaming anyone. As far as Phil is concerned he did use his TO to re-ignite the team… but nothing worked. The only thing I can come up with to explain the loss is that our team did not show the killer instinct they showed against the Spurs in the previous series. Leading by 24 and then take your foot off the pedal… this is what happens to you. You might want to call them young, inexperienced or whatever you want. The bottom line is that we lost this game and the series along with it.

    The Spurs suffered the same fate in their series and they were not playing on their home turf mind you.

    We beat Boston at their own game in game 3. But when we finally played Lakers basketball we led by 24 and then what happened… we got soft and lost to them when playing our style…

    I just don’t and can’t see the Lakers winning 3 straight games with two in Boston. I am looking for a replay next year against the same idiots since Detroit are out of the picture in the east there is no one to stop the green morons from reaching the finals again. Bynum is going to be ready next year and we will be a different animal.

  • http://deleted berks24

    you sure not blaming anyone?maybe you did not watch the whole game!I am a laker fan a kobe die hard,yes I blame kobe for not taking his shot more often I mean I want him to take over the game seems his teamates r so scared I don’t care if he ballhogs just take his shot.too late to look 4 a team chemistry kobe is the offense let the others play defense he needs to score 30-40points 4get the % it has nothing to do.more shots more points but play defence all the time.
    are you going to blame kobe 4 taking more shots and losses the game…..I never…I blame 4 not taking more shots and losses d game….selfish…but I trust kobe more than the lakers

  • truekobe

    were down 1-3 what do you think the best way to do.
    kobe to score 50 or kobe look for his teamates to get involve?
    i go for 50 points.we have no time!

  • CelticsSucks

    You What its not the lakers fault!Its our fault, look at staples we arent loud!Now look at Staples 5 years ago! Also this series isnt over!Not over!Just look at all the games we won ,we didnt came here just lose to some fake team! We came to win becuase this is our year!Nothing is impossible!Nothing!Thats why we are fans!Thats why we are here becuase we believe and now your acting as its the end,well its not!!Theres always a first time!And that our destiny to make history for the first time!WE are the lakers nation and we know that we can win and make history!Finally we know we can make those celtics fans regret what they said!

  • Geloman

    The blame goes to the coach and the vet captains, Kobe and Fish. The young players and newbies to this situation look to you for guidance in times when the other team is imposing their will on you.

    Phil, Kobe and Fish needed to get into people’s faces, calm them down at the same time and do whatever it takes to maintain composure and the lead.

    Call timeouts. Make smart substitutions. Put in more experienced players, like Odom and Fish instead space cadet, and walton.

    So simple, yet so hard to do for the coach.

  • laker524

    getting old is the lose the strategy!!

    dont worry lakers are gonna win the finals…we gonna be the first team to ever come back from 1-3 deficit!! so dont tripp cuddies


    one thing that Phil has to stop is putting Luke Walton at the Power F. Just BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Big Phil

    I agree with you totally Smush Walton…Other coaches make lineup changes to counter the other team in order to match up better. Clearly, the Space Cadet has done nothing and can’t guard any one. Ariza was fantastic the other day, but why only give him so little time. Ariza should start, and Walton should not play period.

  • e

    give ariza more time and im happy

  • One game at a time

    Does anyone know what the comment was by KG that Phil was referring to as something that may light a fire under Bryant? He mentioned it during his Friday presser.

  • vida8

    [Comment ID #39865 Will Be Quoted Here]

    KG said some thing like this in the press confernce he said he is so close to the title he can even smell it or test it …some thing like that

  • Joe Demarne

    the series aint over yet. 3-1 its possible. just stick with your team and never stop believing. i suggest for all you stupid bandwagons to stop pretending to root for the lakers and go suck your little penises.

    1 game at a time, dont keep looking towards the next few.

  • P90X490104

    Hey Folks,
    I thought I would chime in here. I have been a Laker fan for years, even beleiving in them during that time we had Del Harris and if I recall I think we defeated Phoenix. I think at this time, we were rebuilding and we won the series the headline read “And They Didn’t Give Us A Del Of A Chance”. I have always backed the Lakers but this Game 5 meltdown was inexcusable. Reading all the comments, I can agree, Vlad and Walton, keep them out, play Ariza more but this meltdown begins at the top. I blame Phil Jackson. When the lead went from 20 to 2, his comment was, I don’t know what is happening out there, we are just not playing our game and they stepped up their defense, but we will be alright.” Yeah, fool, I could see that so counter it with something, after all, Phil, you are a nine time NBA, 10 mil per year Zen master. Doc Rivers, I love his attitude, very animated on the sidelines, instilling in his team victory, no matter the odds. Maybe he wants it more and who can blame him, this will be his first. As for the players, Kobe is the captain, Fish has the experience, upset Phil and use a timeout yourself to rally the remainder of the bozo’s. Remind Lamar and Pau that a game is played for 48 minutes, not 24. Get in their face, shake it up. No excuses can be made for such a tragic loss in a crucial game. Can they beat Boston three straight. Yes, anything is possible, but highly improbable. Kobe, this was his chance to prove he could win a championship without Shaq. Hmmmm, get ready to take that money and buy a lot of shots over the summer Kobe, I think after this is over you are going to need it. Maybe over the summer the team can eventually get some “Killer Instinct” instilled in them, something which I don’t think they quite have.

  • joseph

    man! im gonna play game 4 all the time in my tivo… the fakers thought thay had this on the bag.. thought that this was a boston massacre in LA hahaha… during the first half sasha, walton and the rest of the bench we’re hugging and laughing with their 24 points lead but when its all said the celtics shut the staple and the fakers out the look on their faces was priceless…. fakers all the way baby!!!

    oh by the way this year the celts:
    were down by 22 and won the game against the spurs
    shutdown the rockets to halt their marvelous winning streak

    tell your bunnies pau ga-soft and lamar and sasha to trade places with your laker cheerleaders man! they are soft

    its over! na-na-na hey hey hey goodbye!!!

    celtics in 5 baby! booyah! hibachi style…

  • http://deleted Mr. Juan / Your Warlock

    NOBODY knows why Jackson overplays Walton and/or VladRad and refuses to play Ariza, significant minutes…. It’s a MYSTERY, (And huge frustration to Laker fans) for anyone else that is watching, except Jackson. What isn’t a mystery for anyone else on the planet is that this is a HUGE MISTAKE, so far, in this Series…. Everyone knows this! … Is there ANYBODY out there who ventures to differ…?