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Defense gets Phil Jackson riled up

Coach calls time out and confronts Lamar Odom as Mavericks run past Lakers in the third quarter.

January 19, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, center, and guard Kobe Bryant, right, speak with an official during the final minutes of the Lakers' 109-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, center, and guard Kobe Bryant, right, speak… (Larry W. Smith / EPA )

Reporting from Dallas.

Play some defense.

That's all the Lakers coaches asked of their players.

Instead, the defense the Lakers played in a loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday night may have been the worst they have played this month.

The Lakers' defense was so yielding that Coach Phil Jackson called a timeout with 31.1 seconds left in the third quarter rather than wait for the period to end.

Jackson immediately got into the face of Lamar Odom, who had drifted once again to the wrong spot, opening the door for a three-point shot by Sasha Pavlovic that gave the Mavericks an 11-point lead.

Jackson and Odom exchanged words, most of it Jackson directing his ire at Odom.

Jackson said called the timeout to "talk to a couple of guys" because they were "coming apart at the seams."

Jackson was asked what he said to Odom.

"That was just the defense and helping out and understanding what our defensive roles are," Jackson said.

Odom was silent for almost a minute when he was asked to explain what happened between him and Jackson.

But he never answered the question.

The Mavericks shot 54.5% from the field in the third quarter, 57.1% (four for seven) from three-point range. Overall, the Mavericks shot 55% to the Lakers' 54.3%.

Dallas scored 30 points in the third quarter, when it turned a seven-point deficit into an 11-point cushion that never dipped below seven points.

"Our defense was bad, real bad," Odom said.

Jeanie Buss' fun tweet

The day began with Jeanie Buss, Jackson's girlfriend who is the Lakers' executive vice president of business operations, sending out this tweet:

"In NYC and missing my boytoy Phil! Hahaha (thanks Mark for his new nickname) good luck in Dallas tonight babe."

That's Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks who called Jackson Buss' boy toy after Jackson said Dallas would miss Caron Butler after he had season-ending right knee surgery.

Cuban said he found Buss' tweet "pretty funny."

He also maintained that when he responded to Jackson's comments about Butler that it wasn't done to "mess with Phil."

"It's just like saying to yourself, 'How can I get everybody in the entire sports media to use the word boy toy?' He [Jackson] was just a convenient subject," Cuban said.

But it's not as if Cuban and Jackson haven't exchanged words before.

"We really haven't had that many tiffs over the years," Jackson claimed. "But you know what I'll miss is walking here 250 yards from the bus to get to the locker room."

Cuban was asked if he will miss Jackson when he retires.

"Yeah, but I'm sure I will call him up," Cuban said. "I might go to and see what he's up to."

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