If there is one good thing about the Lakers-Hornets series being over it is that we do not have to see Phil Jackson again. Jackson was the long time coach of the Chicago Bulls and then the Lakers who, if he had kept his mouth shut on non-basketball matters, might have been remembered as one of the game’s respected figures on the strength of the 11 championships he’s won as a coach. Having announced his intention to retire he will be honored for his coaching but not for his urban sensibilities.
Jackson, for some reason never totally explained, hated New Orleans, the city. All cities, having burdens of providing for large populations, are subject to some criticisms; but in trashing New Orleans Jackson should have looked harder at where he IS living.
1. He warned reporters not to drink the water here, but at least we have our own water and don’t need to pipe it in great distances from out of state. Our water is purified. Who is to say it is any worse than funneled snowmelt held in a basin?
2. Jackson was critical of the NBA taking ownership of the Hornets citing that as an example of our not being able to support an NBA franchise; yet, Major League baseball recently took over operation of the Los Angeles Dodgers because of incompetent ownership. How about blasting Los Angeles for not being able to provide a competent owner Phil!
3. When was the last time you heard about an NFL team from Los Angeles winning a Superbowl? Better yet, when was the last time you heard about an NFL team from Los Angeles? That city, unable to get it together to build a modern stadium, has not had a pro football team since 1995 when the Rams moved to St. Louis. The Saints have operated successfully in New Orleans since 1967 and the Superdome is the premiere enclosed stadium in the world.
4. Sure New Orleans is vulnerable to hurricanes, but at least we do not have to worry about earthquakes leveling us at any minute or wildfires smoking us out.
5. As a city, New Orleans has culture and character; Los Angeles has freeways.
Understandably being rich in Los Angeles, as Jackson is, allows for the good life in the hills or along the beach. A coach of the Lakers gets to see Jack Nicholson sitting on the front row, but if Jackson wants to see movie stars working on the streets he might want to come to New Orleans.
By the way, his team may be called the "Lakers," but at least we have a lake.
Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival – Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via email at email@example.com or (504) 895-2266.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M. ON WYES-TV, CHANNEL 12.