Jackson pokes at Clippers' Sterling
Lakers coach Phil Jackson doesn't believe that there is a "Clippers curse" haunting Los Angeles' other professional basketball team, but he does have an opinion about the franchise's woes that doesn't involve basketball.
"I come from a generation that believed in karma," Jackson said before Friday's Lakers-Clippers game at Staples Center. "I do think there is karma in effect ultimately."
Jackson was taking aim at Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who agreed in November to pay a record $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Latinos, blacks and families with children.
"I can't claim anybody else's karma," Jackson said. "That's their own making, whatever it is.
"If you do a good mitzvah [a Jewish term for an act of kindness], maybe you can eliminate some of those things," Jackson continued. "You don't think Sterling's done enough mitzvahs to eliminate some of those?"
When a reporter sarcastically made reference to all the awards Sterling has received for his humanitarian efforts in the city of Los Angeles, Jackson answered:
"How about all those other incidents [of his] that we have on file?"
Jackson ended his thoughts on the subject with more sarcasm.
"I think he's well liked," he said of Sterling. The Clippers have only one winning season in their past 15 and learned Wednesday that No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin will require season-ending knee surgery before ever playing a regular-season game in his rookie year.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.