Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he didn’t mention Game 7 or show any clips to his players Saturday, instead using video from Game 6 _ a blowout Lakers win _ to illustrate a few defensive concepts he expects his team to embrace.
“They have good shooters, and they get the ball in the right people’s hands,” Jackson said. “This is a new year. That’s a long time ago, with basketball.”
Fisher doesn’t see O'Neal’s decision to sign with the Celtics as a betrayal of anything they accomplished with Bryant a decade ago, largely because Boston wasn’t those Lakers‘ biggest rival. The Celtics missed the playoffs during the Lakers‘ title runs in 2000 and 2001, then lost to New Jersey in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals.
O’Neal and Bryant appear to be on friendly terms now, the jealousies of the past decade largely ignored publicly _ aside from an occasional sarcastic comment. When asked after Game 7 what a fifth title meant to him, Bryant immediately noted he has one more ring than Shaq.
“I don’t think it’s too weird,” Bryant said. “I don’t really hold too much significance to the fact that he’s playing with the Celtics. I don’t think Lakers fans as a whole are. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”