NBA

Phil Jackson rips into ex-Knicks star Andrea Bargnani - calls him big tease

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Phil Jackson is not a man to mince his words. If he isn't happy with something he will let you know about it.

The New York Knicks president's forthright nature is what makes the ongoing series from ESPN, documenting conversations between reporter Charley Rosen and Jackson during the ill-fated 2014-15 season, so enthralling.

A big tease

After getting the inside track on everything from free agency wishes to J.R. Smith's demise, the latest instalment has seen Jackson rip into another now former Knick. Fans of the NYC franchise's Brooklyn neighbors might be a little worried after hearing it, too.

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The player in Phil Jackson's cross-hairs this time around is Andrea Bargnani, and it is safe to say the Italian didn't leave too good an impression on the team president before exiting for the Nets this offseason:

"AB was and still is a big tease," explained Jackson in a conversation that took place before free agency got going.

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"When he was injured he refused to do simple non-contact activities like dummy our offense in practice. He seemed to be a malingerer and this had a bad effect on the team, and also on the way the Knicks fans reacted to him."

Jackson then reeled off a number of particulars that left him seeing Barnagi as "an enigma."

"When he was on the court, he had a hard time staying intense, didn't hustle back in offense-to-defense transition, wasn't active enough in defending screen-rolls."

Of course, having watched him struggle to justify the high price he cost to bring him to New York in 2013,  Knicks fans were already aware of Bargnani's on-court struggles.

To hear him lamented so openly for a lack of effort and basketball IQ however may make it a little more easy to understand why his time at the franchise never quite took off as expected.

Not holding back

Moreover, in general terms, Phil Jackson's willingness to publicly chastise players is quite unique in a modern NBA when most coaches and GMs hide behind a cloak of anonymity when criticizing a player.

Brooklyn Nets fans will be hoping the Italian shows a little more effort now that he has crossed the New York divide but they can't say they haven't been warned.

Knicks fans: Do you think Phil Jackson is right to openly criticize players, could it put off future arrivals? Have your say in the comments below...

Topics:
NBA
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference

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