Jay-Z: I Have A Message For The Lakers

Phil Jackson

Song: Run This Town

Lyrical Message:

“Victory’s within the mile/Almost there, don’t give up now/Only thing that’s on my mind/Is who’s gonna run this town tonight”


No home court advantage in the NBA Finals? No problem. This is an old hat for Coach Phil Jackson. So while Lakers Nation and the local media are clearly worried about the Lakers chances this postseason, Phil doesn’t seem the least bit bothered. Of his 10 NBA Championship teams, only half of them finished the season with the best overall record in the league.

Phil knows this, which is why I think he’s more concerned about his team’s recent downward spiral than he has let on.  With a 3-4 record in the month of April, the Lakers aren’t exactly riding a wave of momentum into the Playoffs. To make matters worse the tailspin started long before the calendar turned to April, as their meager 16-12 record since the All Star Break attests. The Western Conference Playoffs will be no cakewalk for the champs, as Dallas, Denver, Utah and even Oklahoma City smell blood. Now it’s up to Phil Jackson to pull his team out of this funk.

Often criticized for his relaxed demeanor during games, pundits scream that Phil’s reticent behavior will cost the Lakers a victory. Sometimes even the most ardent Phil Jackson supporter has to wonder if the Lakers have replaced him on the sidelines with a wax sculpture from Ripley’s. To be honest, I wouldn’t doubt if this was a part of their contract negotiations this off season.

In his defense, Phil prides himself on doing most of his coaching at practice and allowing players to execute his plans during games. The way this team has struggled, Coach Jackson needs to grab his team by the reigns and take control right now. If ever there was a team in need of a leader on the sideline, it’s this listless version of the Lakers. In the past two decades I have never seen a Defending Championship squad display less urgency at a critical time of year. If the Lakers are turn things around, Phil needs to hammer home three points: (1) Get the ball to Pau, (2) Reign in Kobe’s shot selection, and (3) Get productive minutes from the bench. If Phil can deliver that message to his team and get them to execute on the floor, he’ll be running the town of Los Angeles in June.

Next Page: The Lakers Bench

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