Jackson: Vujacic benched for 'run-in'

Updated: March 31, 2010, 9:04 PM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson says backup guard Sasha Vujacic hasn't played the last two games because of "a little run-in" with the coaching staff.

The run-in occurred with 9:12 left in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 91-75 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Friday when Vujacic got into a heated argument with assistant coach Brian Shaw. During a timeout Shaw was yelling at Vujacic and pointed his finger in Vujacic's face, prompting Vujacic to point his finger back in Shaw's face. Lakers forward Ron Artest and Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar quickly got in front of the two as Vujacic was instructed to take a seat at the end of the bench and didn't return. Vujacic only played 2:48 of the fourth quarter in the loss and hasn't played in the Lakers' last two games in Houston and New Orleans.

"He hasn't atoned himself yet for that error," Jackson told reporters before the Lakers played the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday. "He knows how to get himself out of it. When he does he'll be back in good graces. There's a promise he made to us before the season that he hasn't fulfilled. I'll let him explain that if he wants to."

Vujacic, who is averaging 2.4 points in 60 games this season, said he doesn't know what his coach is talking about.

The Lakers are wrapping up a five-game road trip at Atlanta.

Arash Markazi is a writer and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com