Jerry West Blasts Lakers in Irvine--and Phil Jackson Seconds Him

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Former Lakers coach, team president and Hall of Fame player Jerry West spoke at the annual Orange County Automobile Dealers Association luncheon at the Irvine Marriott on Friday--and unloaded on his former squad.

"I don't think the Lakers will be good for much longer," West predicted. "You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, etc. But you can't change a player's tires."

He complained the Lakers are "getting long in the tooth," that they aren't going after as many loose balls as they once did, that they can't play defense because they can't.

And the legendary shooting guard capped off his rough talk by shooting Lakers fans right in the heart, praising the hated Boston Celtics and predicting they will win the next NBA title (despite, uh, being older than the Lakers, Jer).
The Zen Master
"I think Boston is a very dangerous team," West said. "I would not want to play them every other night."

One might imagine the current Lakers coach would not take kindly to former coach West's views. But Phil Jackson "didn't protest one bit" when Elliott Teaford asked about the comments Sunday. Former Los Angeles Times scribe Teaford now bangs the keyboard for the Torrance Daily Breeze and that group that owns every newspaper that is not the Times or Orange County Register (yet).

"He's right, we have to do a lot of things right to be able to play defense the way we want to," Jackson said. "Most of it is about controlling the tempo of the game. There's something about speed, just outright speed. We're not the fastest team on the boards here in the NBA. We can do it (play sound defense) if we control things the right way."

Jackson, of course, is known for saying things in the press that get under the skin of players and, hopefully, motivate them to greatness.

Guess he should thank West for the assist.

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Edan Aharony
Edan Aharony

It seems like Phil Jackson knows it's their last dance and maybe it's his last year with the Lakers. Edan Aharony

RP in SA
RP in SA

Jerry West is the only person whose opinion on the Lakers is worth considering, in my book. Sports talk radio hosts and callers drone on for hours analyzing the Lakers while West spells it all out in minutes.

Phil Jackson agrees with West not only to light a fire under his players' asses, but because deep down he knows West is right. The comment on the Celtics is a little disturbing, but you can't argue with his logic when you see Boston's defense.

I just hope the audience at the luncheon appreciated his insights.

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