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No joke, Phil Jackson compliments Mark Cuban

Lakers coach says he wants to be friends with the Dallas Mavericks owner. The two have traded barbs for some time.

March 12, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, left, and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson took a break from exchanging barbs Saturday.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, left, and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson… (Matthew Emmons, Kirby Lee…)

Reporting from Dallas — Coach Phil Jackson has figured out what to do when he leaves the Lakers.

It involves working for his longtime foil, Mark Cuban.

"He's very good for the game," Jackson said Saturday in an uncharacteristic compliment of the Dallas Mavericks owner. "I'm trying to [be] a friend of Mark because Charlie and I want to be on a show together."

Who's Charlie?

"Charlie Sheen."

Oh, of course.

What would they possibly talk about together on Cuban's cable channel, HDNet?

"I'd like to introduce the movies or something," Jackson said. "I'm all about musicals."

Cuban seemed to like the idea.

"We'll have Phil in the corner going 'Winning!' and give him a quart of tiger blood and see what happens."

A day earlier, Jackson tweaked Cuban, saying he wanted the Lakers to get ahead of the Mavericks in the standings just so Cuban wouldn't be able to get an extra home game — and revenue — in a potential seven-game playoff series between the teams.

But now Jackson wants to be friends? Fine with Cuban.

"I told him he and Jeanie [Buss] can come over for movies and popcorn," Cuban told reporters. "Phil can be fun."

Jackson went a step further. He didn't even blink when asked whether Cuban should buy the Dodgers.

"I think that he would have an impact on baseball like he does here," in the NBA, Jackson said. "I think the owners in baseball are a little afraid of him, though, and don't want him in there. You know, he's a maverick."

Cuban and Jackson, friends forever … at least for now.

Bryant talk

Kobe Bryant is often attuned to national news in other pro sports, so it wasn't surprising to see him weigh in on the escalating labor dispute in the NFL.

The NBA is facing a similar situation with the June 30 expiration of its collective bargaining agreement.

"We'll have to see how this plays out and hopefully learn from what's going on in the NFL, and try not to make the same mistakes," Bryant said.

An avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, Bryant said he would be disappointed if there was no NFL season. Then he chided an Eagles' rival.

"Although in Dallas I don't know how much they'd miss it because it's not like they had [a season] anyway," he said sarcastically.

Then he yelled out to Lakers veteran forward Joe Smith, a Cowboys fan.

"Y'all had people popping champagne in your building," he said. "That's not a good look, baby."

The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl last month at Cowboys Stadium.


Bryant said his parents were safe from the tsunami in Japan. They were in Tokyo when it hit after a massive earthquake Friday. "They're fine," he said. "They're still there but they're doing OK." … Jackson said Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose should probably be the NBA MVP. "That team is, what, [almost] first in the East now all of a sudden? He's literally vaulted that team up on his shoulders."

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