Phil Jackson: Master of the Backhanded Apology

Remember when Phil Jackson ripped off his infamous Brokeback comment? Then remember how he later apologized?

Well, to quote the infamous Kenny Red, “Same suit just reheated.”

After setting off another fire storm of contrived controversy for speculation on Erik Spoelstra’s job security, PJ again backpedaled in classic Jackson fashion.

First and foremost, Phil expressed his regret for stating the obvious state of affairs in Miami.

 “It was an off-handed remark about if things continue to go poorly for Miami, what might happen.”

“I’m not throwing any aspersions on Spoelstra. He’s a very fine young coach.”

Then, he offered Stan Van Gundy an olive branch as only Phil Jackson can.

 “But, obviously Stan felt that he had to say something. Unfortunately he got defensive about it. I didn’t mean to do that. I should apologize because I do not know about his situation.”

“Stan was going home to be with his family and that was his reason for leaving. I have no idea about the rest of it; why he came back out after retiring and being with his family. But, that’s his decision and fine.”

On the scale of controversial quotes, this one is about as mild as Crystal hot sauce. We’re not talking Ass in Space here.

Out of respect, no coach should ever speculate on the job security of another. That is a violation of the unwritten code. However, in this instance, Phil was only stating what has been on the lips of hack sports talk radio hosts everywhere. Not to mention, it’s not like what he said about Spoelstra is without precedent.

I’m pretty sure that what Phil originally said was pretty much what happened back when Stan was sent back to his van down by the river to make way for Pat Riley.

In addition, it has been an unspoken truth that Van Gundy was forced out of South Beach. Look, if the man really needed to be with his family then so be it. To his credit, Stan Van landed on his feet and has taken the Orlando Magic to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Again, all Phil is doing is saying aloud what every hoops fans has privately thought for years. Where is the crime in that? Then again, when you’ve got 11 rings you’re allowed to make statements about a video coordinator turned head coach that is in over his head. That too is an unwritten code.

Come to think of it, how did Van Gundy get involved in this anyhow? That’s more of a head scratcher than trying to figure out why Dwight Howard still has no low post game.

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Tags: Dwight Howard Erik Spoelstra Pat Riley Phil Jackson Stan Van Gundy

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