Phil Jackson disses Carl Landry trade
LOS ANGELES -- Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban don't often see eye-to-eye but Jackson joined Cuban on Friday in lambasting the NBA for allowing the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to complete a trade with the Sacramento Kings in which the financially struggling Hornets absorbed salary and sent an undisclosed amount of cash to the Kings.
The Hornets sent guard Marcus Thornton, who is earning $762,195, plus cash to the Kings for forward Carl Landry, who is earning $3 million. The Hornets, who are over the salary cap, were able to fit Landry into a trade exception.
"I want to know who is making that trade and how they can take on that salary," Jackson said. "The owners have to take on that extra salary. What's going on? And then how did the thing work out with Sacramento? Those are things that seem to me manipulations that I'm not quite comfortable with."
The difference in salary is $2.24 million, of which the Hornets will be responsible for the prorated amount for the remainder of the season.
Jackson was unaware of Cuban's stance when he made his comments and smiled when he was told his thoughts were in line with Cuban's.
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"I don't blame him," Jackson said. "How is this happening? Where's the consensus? If New Orleans happens to win the championship does everyone get a trophy in the NBA?"
Cuban voiced his displeasure with the trade after it was made on Wednesday.
"If New Orleans is taking back $2 million and the team is losing money and I own 1/29th of it, I'm going to go against the grain and say that's just wrong," Cuban said. "There's no way, with their payroll, having to dump salary before they were sold to us [NBA owners]; now they can take on more salary while they're losing money. That's just wrong every which way."
Arash Markazi is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from ESPNDallas.com's Jeff Caplan was used in this report.