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June 3, 2010

Phil Jackson


Q. If you would respond to something that's taking place right now: You are the winningest NBA coach ever, the winningest coach in college, John Wooden, is in the hospital in very grave condition. Could you talk about what he has meant? You've coached players or knew players who played for him in the past. What has he meant to this game and your thoughts right now with him?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, he established a goal that is unreachable in college sports, obviously. And held it to such a standard that we all appreciated his teaching and his mentoring of his college students, and I think it's a day gone past for what we see now out of NCAA college players. But at the time it was inspirational, and his coaching has been an inspiration to all of us coaches.

Q. Looking back to the '08 series, why more than anything else did Boston win that series and you guys lost it?
PHIL JACKSON: You know, I think some of it had to do with their defensive capabilities, their tenacity, their interior presence on the floor, their momentum swing at Game No. 4 in the middle of the first half that changed the course of the game, I think convinced them that they were able to beat us, and they carried it home.

Q. Are you as appalled as I am if you read the LA Times, Kevin McHale actually gives the edge in coaching to Doc Rivers in this series?
PHIL JACKSON: Kevin McHale gave them Kevin Garnett. I mean, why not? Geez. That's somebody calling the kettle black. (Laughter).

Q. How do you compare this Celtic defense against the 2008 Celtic defense?
PHIL JACKSON: It's still a very good defense. You know, they hired P.J. Brown late in the season that year in 2008, which gave them another quality defender with size, and this team is a little different obviously with Rasheed Wallace, who's a shooter but yet a quality defender, but not quite as mobile perhaps as P.J. was. Obviously House and Posey were tremendous three-point threats that really attacked us in a way that we didn't recover in Game No. 6, and that was a big difference.
Also in Game No. 4 they were very instrumental.

Q. You said if you made it to The Finals this would be a successful season in your mind, and you'd be more likely to remain with the Lakers. Would you like to now make that official?
PHIL JACKSON: I'll be here with them until at least the end of this month. That's for sure, officially.
Yes, I think a lot of that is true. It feels like we're really headed in the right direction. We believe in what we're doing. We've got momentum. I know the Celtics do, too, but this is really the topping on the cake, so to speak, as to how you come out in The Finals and how you play. I'm looking forward to this, and that's it.

Q. That sounds almost like you're leaning more towards staying.
PHIL JACKSON: All right.

End of FastScripts

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