- Marc Stein, ESPN Senior Writer
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The NBA has fined Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson $75,000 for making unauthorized public comments about collective bargaining, according to sources close to the situation.
The Lakers also separately were fined $75,000, sources said.
The league has not yet publicly announced either penalty, but has notified teams of the punishments, sources said, entering NBA Board of Governors meetings in New York through Friday, during which labor negotiations with the NBA Players Association are expected to be a prominent topic.
When asked about the fine on Friday, Jackson wouldn't answer the question.
"I'm not going to answer that question due to [the fact that] anything I answer will probably be another fine," he said. "So, I'll just lay that out there. I don't think I said anything wrong or incorrect. I believe the question led in to the statement I made and I used the wrong term. So, that's all I'll say about that, but no one feels good about the action that pursued ... except [commissioner] David Stern, probably."
Thursday was the second straight day the Lakers were hit with a hefty fine. On Wednesday, Lakers star Kobe Bryant was docked $100,000 for directing a gay slur at veteran referee Bennie Adams.
It's believed that Jackson drew the ire of the league with his comments to Lakers beat writers during a sitdown last week in Portland, when the 65-year-old spoke openly about the widely expected lockout and how it factored into his decision to repeatedly state that he's retiring from coaching at season's end.
"It was really about the fact that there's going to be a lockout," Jackson told the small gathering of traveling beat reporters April 7 at a Portland hotel. "It's the perfect time to help the organization cover a gap if there's a lockout. My staff, all those guys who work with me. All those things played into it. I felt like an obligation."
"Who knows what the NBA is going to look like next year?" Jackson continued. "It's going to take on a whole different proportion. How long is it going to last? I think there are some people who are pretty convinced there's not going to be a year next year."
Senior writer Marc Stein covers the NBA for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.
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