Phil Jackson meets the media in his return to Chicago


Dec 15

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By Adam Fluck

With the Los Angeles Lakers in town to face the Bulls, Head Coach Phil Jackson returned to the arena where he helped lead Chicago to its last NBA championship. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Hall of Fame Head Coach spoke on several topics, including coming back to the Windy City, Bulls guard Derrick Rose, the addition of Ron Artest, and his thoughts on this year’s Lakers team. Below are excerpts from his comments, along with the full audio.

On whether he thinks more about the Bulls’ successes during his time in Chicago or the way it ended:
“I never think about the way it ended. It ended when it was supposed to end, I guess. That’s all you can say. The fun we had as a group was terrific.”

On his advice for Derrick Rose:
“He just has to bide his time as a player and feel out what’s going on. You really know the temperament of your team if you’re a teammate—what’s permissible, what’s not, how to fit in. The role they are trying to put on him, he’s got to grow into that role. It can’t be forced on him overnight.”

On John Paxson in his role as an executive for the Bulls:
“I had him as an assistant coach for a year. I really wanted him to get into coaching. I thought he had a great mind for the game. He thought he was too combative for it.”

On similarities between Kobe Bryant’s past situation and Tiger Woods’ current situation (Jackson declined to comment on the specific parties but said the following):
“In our society, it’s been true that we build up icons and then tear them down. As much as they’ve been built up, they’ve been torn down. With Michael [Jordan] and his retirement here, there was a scandal about his gambling. Those things are all redeemable if you come back and show your character, and that character is about winning and doing the job right.”

On if there is a comparison between Ron Artest and Dennis Rodman:
“There really isn’t. Ron is not the most quiet person and talks a lot. Dennis was very reluctant to speak. He could go through a week of practices and never speak once. But at night after the game was over, sometimes he’d open up and be very funny. The more he got out and partied, the happier he got. The key with Dennis was that he got involved… [suspensions and throwing jersey into stands after games] he did a lot of things to draw attention to himself, but Ron’s not like that.”

On this year’s team with the addition of Artest:
“It’s taken on a quiet kind of demeanor. We’re here, this is where the buck stops, so to speak, and he gives us that security that there is a guy out there who is going to drop the weight on somebody if they come in the paint. He’ll stand up and be accounted for when defensively we’ve got to do the job and that’s given us some security.”

Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on the team’s strategy against the Lakers, Kobe Bryant and his work ethic, and the coaching job Phil Jackson has done (12.15.09):

Audio—Jackson meets the media prior to his team’s game against the Bulls (12.15.09):

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