Phil Jackson disses Heat's 'Xbox' style
MIAMI -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson doesn't watch much of the NBA when it's not for scouting purposes, preferring to watch the NHL or his favorite TV show, "Dexter," in his free time.
But when he does tune into basketball, it's not to watch the Miami Heat.
"I enjoy watching the Spurs play, the style they play at. I enjoy watching Boston play; I love the style that they play," Jackson said before the Lakers' game against the Heat on Thursday. "I'm not a big fan of the style that Miami plays."
The 65-year old coach went on to liken Miami's team approach to that of someone playing a video game.
"Their basketball is very much in standing with Xbox games, or whatever those games are when you play one-on-one," Jackson said.
"Basketball is not a one-on-one game. It's a team game."
Jackson has had more than a few critical thoughts about the Heat in recent months, on topics that include how their roster was assembled last summer, coach Erik Spoelstra's future with the team and the tears Miami players shed in the locker room following their loss to Chicago.
He did, however, say Thursday that Spoelstra is "doing a good job."
Rather than criticize the Heat's coach, Jackson's target was Miami's system -- or lack thereof.
"I like to see everybody involved in the game, so I think that's really important in basketball," Jackson said. "That's what I try to preach as a basketball coach even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe [Bryant]."
The defending champs are trying to three-peat. The Heat Index.
Jackson hinted at the same sentiment before the Lakers practiced Wednesday when he called out LeBron James and Dwyane Wade when he said, "I think it's about the whole team. I don't think it's about two people. I think that might be the problem."
He then shared the thought process behind his team-oriented triangle offense.
"It's about the team relying on the system that you're going to play and then everybody kind of pays credence to the system that you want to play in," Jackson said Wednesday. "My coach [Red Holzman] said, there's only two things that make sense in basketball: Play defense together as a team and hit the open man. That's the thing that makes the most sense in basketball. It's not really that complicated a game."
Jackson is hardly the first to suggest that the Heat rely too heavily on James and Wade, who came into Thursday ranked second and fourth respectively in the league scoring stats.
After that, the Heat's offensive consistency has been inconsistency, something Chris Bosh and other Miami players have acknowledged as a problem.
"I don't really care what people say about us, personally," Wade said earlier Thursday, a few hours before Jackson spoke.
Miami came into Thursday on a five-game slide. The Lakers started the day as the NBA's hottest team, winners of eight straight.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.