Phil Jackson apologizes for remarks

Updated: May 2, 2011, 11:50 PM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson issued an apology for remarks made during the first round of the playoffs about the Maloof family that owns the Sacramento Kings.

"I sent them a written apology," Jackson said prior to Game 1 of the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks' Western Conference semifinals series on Monday.

Jackson compared the Maloofs to the McCourts, the embattled owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While Jackson ultimately produced the hand-written note, he was reluctant in doing so.

"I had a gun at my head, but I did it," Jackson said, referring to longtime companion and Lakers executive Jeanie Buss applying the pressure.

When asked to describe exactly what he said prior to Game 2 against the Hornets about the Maloofs, Jackson said, "I don't remember."

But according to the Orange County Register, Jackson said: "Oh, man. I think it's the same thing with the Maloofs in Sacramento, a similar situation there. I can see where the league had to step in and monitor that. It's unfortunate for our fans here. Hopefully, the Dodgers will recover."

The Maloofs hired an attorney that visited the house of an Orange County Register newspaper reporter to try to obtain the audio from the April 20 pregame availability session, a request the Register denied.

Kings ownership announced Monday that it would file for relocation out of Sacramento for the 2011-12 season, but could leave for another city such as Anaheim prior to 2012-13 if a deal for a new arena in California's capitol is not put in place.

"That will make the Sacramento fans happy," Jackson said after shootaround Monday. "Other than that, I think it's going to make the Clippers and the Lakers happy.

"It's really going to be up to the owners [where the Kings move] whatever time that happens. It's not up to me. But I just think [another team in Anaheim] puts a lot of pressure on the community."

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com