Friday, November 16, 2007

Phil Jackson: "If I've offended any horses...cowboys...I apologize."

In Houston yesterday, one of the NBA's most decorated coaches admitted he had made a mistake and apologized for his "brokeback" San Antonio comments. It was an apology not devoid of yet another shot at Texans and cowboys (just to name a few), but an apology nonetheless.

I was, however, amused by his insight on the difference between an NBA coach making inappropriate and derogatory statements to that of television personalities such as the Tonight Show's Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman who provide that kind of comedy.

AP Sports Writer Chris Duncan wrote:

"Coach Phil Jackson said he deserved the reprimand he got from the NBA on Wednesday for making a sexual reference in a comment following the Los Angeles Lakers' loss in San Antonio.

The Spurs made 13 3-pointers in their 107-92 victory on Tuesday night, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters.

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."

The 2005 film, which won three Oscars, depicts two cowboys who conceal their homosexual affair.

"But in retrospect, it wasn't really funny," Jackson said before the Lakers played Houston on Wednesday night. "When you take it out of context, it wasn't funny. It was a poor attempt at humor and I deserved to be reprimanded by the NBA."

Still, Jackson couldn't resist making another joke as he apologized.

"If I've offended any horses, Texans, cowboys or gays, I apologize," Jackson said.

Jackson thanked beat writers and other journalists who covered Tuesday's game for dismissing the comment as an innocent joke. He said several of them laughed when he said it.

The NBA did not.

NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre said: "The remarks are in poor taste, and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future."

Jackson admitted he should've known better -- that coaches can't get away with the jokes that Jay Leno and David Letterman do for a living on their late-night talk shows.

"It's societal right now," he said. "Some people can do it. Some people can't. That's something that's appropriate for certain categories."

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president Neil G. Giuliano issued a statement saying: "Phil Jackson's been coaching long enough that he should be able to talk about the Lakers' performance without resorting to cheap gay jokes."

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