Jackson, Rivers criticize Cavs' deal
LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't quite on the same level as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich calling for an independent trade committee to be formed in protest of the Pau Gasol deal a couple of seasons ago, but there were two coaches calling for changes to the NBA's trade process Thursday.
Both Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Celtics coach Doc Rivers had strong things to say about Cleveland's acquiring Antawn Jamison by using Zydrunas Ilgauskas as a key piece in the deal, with the eventuality assumed that Ilgauskas will be bought out from his contract by the Wizards and return to the Cavaliers after 30 days.
Jackson declined to comment on the Jamison trade when he was asked about it at Thursday's shootaround, quipping, "I don't care about that," and dodged two more questions about it in his pregame media session before not being able to bite his tongue any longer.
"They're going to get Ilgauskas back and it's going to be one of those scenarios that we see in the NBA where you ship a player out, you get another player, then your player retires or they pay him off and then he comes back in 30 days," Jackson said. "I don't know what that does for the league. I think that's kind of a weird situation."
Rivers agreed with Jackson, even though the loophole has helped his team in the past.
"I have a problem with that," Rivers said before Thursday's Lakers-Celtics game at Staples Center. "I loved it three years ago when we did it with Gary Payton if you remember, but now I think it sucks. I think it's a terrible deal."
Rivers and the Celtics traded Payton to Atlanta in March 2005 for Antoine Walker and Payton returned to Boston after being waived by the Hawks.
"I actually do have a problem with that though. We did it, and I'm joking, but I do think [it's a problem]," Rivers said. "I don't know what you do [maybe] just not allow them to go back to the same team or whatever. ... I do think that will be changed eventually, but I do have a problem with it."
Rivers also suggested the trade deadline be moved up to coincide with All-Star Weekend so teams come out of the break with a fresh approach and their team totally in place for the home stretch, rather than face four more days of uncertainty.
"Who am I to suggest changes in the NBA? But why doesn't the trade deadline end over the All-Star break? I don't get why we have to come back for four more days. It's such a good fit over All-Star break. Then when you come out of break, the deadline's passed, all the GMs can go to the All-Star Game and get it done. I wish that's the way it happened. It would allow you to start the break with your [entire] team and allow guys to [join their new club] and not miss games like tonight, where we lose Eddie [House], and we're not allowed to use Nate [Robinson]. We wouldn't have that situation. I would love that to change."
Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com contributed to this report. Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.