The Lakers remained unbeaten against Indiana at the Staples Center with Friday’s 121-119 victory, despite 3 of 12 shooting from the hosts’ Sasha Vujacic. Prior to the game, Phil Jackson was scathing in his criticism of the sloppy Slovenian, as reported by the Times’ Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner :
“We just had to come to the conclusion that Sasha’s just an emotional player that plays by the seat of his pants, and that’s about it. He just doesn’t have a brain,” Jackson said before Friday’s game against Indiana. “He’s just out there whacking away and working really hard. He’s not using his head out there at times. We’re working with him, hoping that he will.”
Playing off the no-brain theme, a media member asked whether Vujacic needed to see “The Wizard of Oz.”
“Maybe he needs to get in that poppy field for a while,” Jackson said jokingly, referring to a scene in the movie in which Dorothy falls asleep in a field of poisonous poppies.
Jackson was similarly critical of Vladimir Radmanovic, who totaled three points on one-for-10 shooting in his first two starts after being demoted for 12 games. He played better Friday in his third start this month, scoring eight points on three-for-five shooting.
“He really hasn’t merited starting, there’s no doubt about it,” Jackson said before the game. “Now with Luke [Walton] and Lamar [Odom] out for that time period, I really think we’re almost forced to use him for those early minutes in the ballgame and hoping he can give us something in the process.”