Phil Jackson’s recent comments regarding playing on Christmas day took people by surprise. In fairness to the “Zen Master”, his exact quote from Yahoo:
“Now, I see they have like six games [actually, five] on Christmas. It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean anything to [the NBA] anymore. You just go out and play and entertain (on) TV. It’s really weird.”
Doesn’t Phil sound like the real life version of Charlie Brown? Complaining how Christmas has become so commercialized. Good grief!
Phil Jackson is employed by an NBA franchise. When you work in the NBA it is difficult to go from October to June without having the NBA market something to you. Yahoo states that Jackson refers to himself as “Zen Christian” so its the Christian part of him that feels un-zenlike towards playing on Christmas day. If Phil’s statement is true, does that mean the NBA is also anti-religion? The league plays games for all eight days of Hanukkah. The league’s commissioner must be an anti-semite. Nope. David Stern is one of the chosen ones. Maybe Stern is an anti-dentite?
Nevertheless, Jackson’s comments are peculiar. Maybe the 65-year-old Jackson is reflecting on his life in basketball and sees what he has missed especially over the last 15 years.
Jackson goes on further in the LA Times:
“So I spend a lot of my life on Christmas,” Jackson said, laughing. “It’s something that you do and you go through it and you recognize it to be seen on national TV as an honor, yet it’s an imposition in your private life. You have kids putting batteries in toys and putting their Christmas toys together. There was all kinds of crazy stuff going on and now you have to focus on a game in the middle of the afternoon on Christmas Day. It’s difficult to measure how to bring focus to it.”
So it’s not only the religious thing, it is the distractions that come with playing on the Christmas day which makes the game a bit of a throw-away? An exhibition? I guess. Over the past few years I have been unable to enjoy the viewing of the Lakers from the friendly confines of my living room with my 52 inch HD LCD TV.
This I do know. Phil gets bored too. If there is anything he can say that would make the drudgery of the NBA season go faster or be more interesting then he is probably going to do it.
Maybe Phil had to find a way to interject his name into the headlines for the Heat game. Like everyone else, I thought Pat Riley would be sitting on the sidelines by December 25th. But with no Riley in sight, the Erik Spoelstra comparisons to Phil are few and far between.
I am sure when push comes to shove on Saturday, Phil will back off his comments. He’ll say just about anything for some face time. That dude is soooooooooooooooooooooo LA.
About the Author
Written by Donovan Williams
32 year-old sports fan who has the audacity to think that he could be good at this sports writing thing. I'll be honest. I'll be snarky. I'll be sarcastic. Maybe not in that order. It is my goal to ensure that my opinions will generate a response from you, dear reader. Good, bad or indifferent, I welcome your replies.