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NBA PLAYOFFS NEW JERSEY VS. LAKERS/ SERIES REPORT |
LAKER NOTES

Jackson Advocates Restraint

June 07, 2002|Tim Brown

The news from Sacramento that consumer advocate Ralph Nader has taken up for the local basketball club was met by smirks in Los Angeles, especially because Nader can't shoot free throws, either.

Sports fans in the state capital are particularly displeased with the officiating in Game 6, and Nader has been quoted as suggesting that the nation is on the verge of collapse as a result.

Phil Jackson, of course, couldn't resist.

"Sacramento is a political town, is it not?" he said. "They would have some consumer advocate groups and Ralph Nader would be there. I think that's typical. I think the norm, when you go through a course of a year and you look at how many free throws a game Shaquille [O'Neal] makes or takes, I think you'd find that somewhere in the balance of a seven-game series against Sacramento that he shot about the normal amount he would normally shoot.

"I think that's ridiculous that this was done. But, you know, I do feel sorry for Sacramento. It's tough to be good losers. It is. It's not an easy thing to do."

*

New Jersey forward Kenyon Martin took exception Thursday to an assertion by Jackson that the Lakers gave the Nets confidence with three lackluster quarters in Game 1.

"We had confidence before the game," he said. "They didn't give us confidence. How they going to take something they didn't give us? They didn't give us anything, so they can't take nothing."

*

Laker defenders played well off Martin in Game 1, often allowing him to shoot at will from outside 16 feet or so.

"You get Kenyon Martin a clear lane to the basket, you know what he's going to do with it," Kobe Bryant said. "You're better off backing up off of him.... If he takes a jump shot, put a hand in his face and contest it."

Martin shot seven for 22.

*

Bryant drives a car--a black Ferrari--he calls "the Horse," and the Belmont Stakes is being run Saturday, so it seemed a good time for a question about thoroughbreds. Or something like that.

"Do I think horses are athletes?" Bryant repeated to a man across the room. "I would say so, yeah. Because they run around the track. I don't know about the guys that are on their backs ... but the horses are fine."

*

The Lakers were reasonably satisfied with their defense on Jason Kidd in Game 1.

He scored 23 points, but needed 26 shots to get them. On the other hand, Kidd had five rebounds and four assists in the fourth quarter to get his triple-double.

"He's going to get his," Lindsey Hunter said. "He's going to score and get his assists. As good as he is, it's hard to stop him, and I don't think he really got into his game."

*

Byron Scott told ESPN this week that Bryant's wife, Vanessa, was pregnant. After Game 1, Scott said he'd been wrong, and publicly apologized to the Bryants.... The Lakers hope to play an exhibition series in Japan before the 2003-04 season, when they probably will return to Hawaii for training camp.

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