Phil Jackson went overboard this week with his comments that “Christian holidays don’t mean anything” to the NBA, due to their scheduling of games on Christmas day (which they have done since 1947).
I’ve always admired Phil and considered him not only a great coach, but an intelligent, interesting, and complex person, with keen insights. But he is full of crap here, and I have lost a great deal of respect for him.
NBA Players, coaches, etc. have May to September to spend with their families, and in royal splendor thanks to the obscene money they are paid. Go ahead, take Christmas off, and WORK for a living, like the 17% of Americans living BELOW THE POVERTY level, that could never in their lifetime afford to attend a single NBA game. The devil is in the details, and to “earn” the money they are paid, NBA’ers should be happy to give up a holiday or three during their strenuous eight-month work year.
Maybe the real reason for Phil’s grumblings is the fact that the Phil-led Lakers are 4-7 in Christmas Day games, demonstrating that his nitty-gritty coaching when it could make a difference is sorely lacking. Also inescapable is the veiled anti-Semitism inherent in the tone of his statements.
Zenmaster Phil briefly referred to soccer not scheduling games on Christmas, but, who plays soccer in the US in December? Of course, the NFL observes NO holidays.
Following the Lakers game this afternoon, don’t forget to tune in the Cowboys-Cardinals game on the NFL Network. Merry Christmas, Zenmaster Phil.