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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson says third NBA team in Southland is 'ridiculous'

As the Sacramento Kings appear more and more likely to move to Anaheim, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson expresses doubts about whether Southern California can support a third NBA team.

March 25, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Asked Lakers Coach Phil Jackson of a third NBA team in the Los Angeles area: "What other metropolitan area has three teams in it?"
Asked Lakers Coach Phil Jackson of a third NBA team in the Los Angeles area:… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

It's a small world after all, even in Southern California.

The Sacramento Kings hope to move to Anaheim before next season, but Lakers Coach Phil Jackson thinks NBA owners are in fantasyland if they approve the relocation.

"What other metropolitan area has three teams in it?" Jackson said rhetorically. "It's ridiculous to put another franchise in this market. It just doesn't make sense to do that."

Jackson wouldn't be happy to hear the latest developments. The move is looking more likely.

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The city of Anaheim plans to vote Tuesday on a privately financed $75-million bond issue that will help fund relocation fees for the franchise as well as improvements to Honda Center. If approved, the fund could also lead to the creation of a new practice facility in Anaheim.

There could be further momentum when the topic of the Kings' relocation gets discussed at the NBA's board of governors meeting April 14-15. The Kings would then have to let the league know by April 18 if they officially plan to move.

Kings ownership cites the lack of a new arena in Sacramento as a main reason to relocate.

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Jackson didn't like any of it.

"There's only so much [media] coverage that you can have," he said Friday while talking to a group of reporters. "You guys are going to be overworked. Just think about that."

The Lakers and Clippers will vote against the move because out of crowded-marketplace concerns. Jackson wondered which way the New Orleans Hornets would vote. The Hornets are owned by the NBA, which purchased the financially troubled franchise on a temporary basis in December.

Jackson wondered what would happen "when it comes right down to the end, and now it has to be New Orleans' vote that makes the majority [if] it's tied at ...14-14 or whatever," he said.

Good question.

The only thing Jackson seemed to favor in Anaheim would have been a move there in the past by the Lakers' Staples Center cotenants.

"We were always surprised the Clippers never went there," Jackson said. "It seemed like an appropriate place for them to go."

MJ's territory?

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was caught on video telling players from his alma mater, North Carolina, not to wear Kobe Bryant's new Nike shoe, the Zoom Kobe VI.

Jordan appeared to be joking when he recently ran into the Tar Heels as they were entering the Bobcats' home arena before an NCAA tournament game.

"Next time I see you in them Kobe Bryants, man, I'm cutting you right off," Jordan said. "I don't care if your feet kill you; you're going to wear them Jordans."

He was smiling when he said it, but — ouch.

Jordan then offered to give the Tar Heels players pairs of his latest shoes, the Jordan XIs.

"Get to the Final Four and you can have anything you want," Jordan added.

The Tar Heels have an athletic shoe and apparel contract with Nike.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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