Brain Battles on Slip-Top
I know we've lost all patience for Phil Jackson's hands-off brilliance, or the tease of Lamar Odom becoming the next Scottie or Magic in this offense. But hark, today Ronald Lazenby drops some science that I find it impossible to resist:
These mind games come in such variety that many times the people around Jackson proceed through the game without even being aware that they are participating, that he has engaged them in it and manipulated them. (He is magnificent at manipulating the media; reporters often seem least aware of his skill, perhaps because they're easy suckers for the ego candy he feeds them).
His players are usually a bit smarter than reporters, so they have at least a dim awareness.
There's about 10,000 more uses of the word "deep" in the paragraphs before and after, but this is pretty dope. Because we always assume that we're on the outside looking in, watching these feeble-minded—if not exactly unprepared—Lakers pushed and pulled by the master. What if, though, Lazenby (who knows himself more Lakers than most of us put together) is right, and the players are often co-conspirators, or props, in Phil's attempts not to motivate individual players, but to manipulate coverage of his team? This would make a mockery of camp; the point becomes not getting the team together, but getting certain memes out there in the press. Giving the impression that the team is or isn't working, that Odom is both the future and incompetent . . . really, do you think he's not saying something else behind closed doors?
In other words, in this all, the journalist is object, not subject. Phil is the master. And it's up to the players to sort out just how much they belong to either side.
BONUS: TSB post on MAVERICK fatigue and that Dallas team with the same name.