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As Kobe Bryant walked off the Staples Center court for the last time this season [assuming the Lakers lost in Phoenix on Wednesday] with his head bowed and uniform soaked and heading into the darkness of the east tunnel, another season awash and another promise unfulfilled.
Head coach Phil Jackson, suited and booted, and hobbled by hip surgery soon followed in that same direction to face the music of what went wrong in another dismal performance by his basketball team.
Jackson is a master wordsmith who knows how to carefully pick and chose what he's going to say during his post game spills but few caught the oddity of how frequently he separates himself from the team.
When a reporter asked Jackson if "this team" could come back from a 3-1 deficit, his response was, "I think they can and I believe they can."
Are the Lakers paying a coach, albeit a Hall of Fame wonder, $10 million to turn this faltering franchise around or just to be a an attraction to the many fans who recognize him as the greatest coach during the modern era of the NBA?
Is Jackson trying to win an NBA championship or just enough games to fool people into thinking the team is a player or two away from competing for a title.
During last Sunday's debacle he started point guard Jordan Farmar, played him for about 10 minutes and didn't play him again until the start of the second half, and after
Farmar missed three consecutive shots and turned the ball over he was done.
Jackson doesn't have talent on this team, but still plays too many players in the rotation and doesn't allow for players to get into the flow of the game.
He's a great coach for superstars such as Bryant and accomplished veterans, but just dog awful for young players such as Andrew Bynum.
He allows for his team to constantly get out of rhythm of the game and fall down by points without using a timeout to cease the action. This may work for a veteran team, but for a young team such as the Lakers have it devastating.
I don't doubt for one second that Jackson is a fantastic basketball coach and his license plate on his black Rolls Royce, which reads 9XWrldchamp, spells that out clearly.
But if you are a devout Lakers fan you should be concerned with the direction of this team that you support.
The Timberwolves are shopping Kevin Garnett, and while one local reporter believes that he is the answer for the Lakers to win a championship, I disagree. Garnett is just another piece to an already aging puzzle.
He can help the Lakers improve from a seventh seed to a five seed but he is not the answer to the total puzzle.
Dr. Jerry Buss professed that when O'Neal was traded he wanted to return to the Lakers of old, Showtime basketball running up and down the court and scoring points.
But he brought in a coach who only believes in one way, the triangle and he's the only coach in the league who uses it and the reality is if you don't have Jordan and Pippen or Bryant and O'Neal it doesn't work, period.
The Lakers and their organization have sunk so low that the PA announcer made a big deal of the Heat being swept in four games by the upstart Bulls, as if to bash O'Neal.
When the Lakers are introduced to their fans Jackson receives the lowest applause of anyone.
He's not this beloved figure the organization wants him to be, in fact he wasn't well though of when he helped win championships.
Let Jackson play his mind games with someone else and get a coach in here that can adapt to the talent of the team, relate to young players and allow for them to develop and flourish.
Let Jackson waltz into the sunset with the owner's daughter and live happy ever after and put this franchise back on track in the direction that it should be.