- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW ORLEANS -- Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson normally doesn't let the media get to him but after he was done talking to reporters before Game 6 he looked at the reporters gathered around him and asked, "Anybody here from The Times-Picayune?"
Jackson took exception to the headline on the front page of Thursday's paper, which read, "Why Does He Hate Us?"
The story essentially pulled every disparaging quote Jackson has ever uttered about the city, including his refusal to comment on his feelings about New Orleans before Game 3. "I refuse to comment on the grounds that I might incriminate myself," Jackson said Friday. "Just don't drink the water."
"What's that about?" Jackson said Thursday night. "If I was a politician, I'd feel really bad. That's the kind of thing that gets us in problems. I was vilified."
Jackson added, "I I love coming here," and said he would like to come back for the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
In true Jackson form, however, he couldn't let well enough alone and gave the city one last shot before walking away.
"They said I didn't like the water," Jackson said. "It is the bottom of the country, is it not? All the sludge comes out of the plain states and the irrigation and insecticides."
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
2dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann