From The Brushback.com. Printed without permission. Hey, they wouldn't return my emails.
“I’m terribly sorry about burning down Steve Nash’s house,” Jackson quipped, a mischievous smirk on his face. “I just happened to be in the neighborhood and I wanted to wish him good luck and I accidentally doused the property with gasoline and set it ablaze. Oops! I’m such a stumblebum! I just hope this doesn’t affect Steve’s play. I imagine it's hard to concentrate on basketball when everything you own is in smoldering ruins.”
When asked if the arson was an attempt to “tweak” his opponent, Jackson, winking, insisted it was not.
“Tweak the opposition? No, not me!” Jackson said. “I would never do something like that. This was simply an unfortunate accident. I feel terribly sorry for him. I’m sure the referees do, too. They’ll be putting him on the free throw every time he touches the ball, I imagine. But hey, I’m not complaining. The guy has been through a lot, the poor baby.”
Nash’s sprawling mansion in the suburbs of Phoenix has sustained approximately $1 million in damage, police say. While it is clearly a case of arson, they are hesitant to charge Jackson as they know the Zen Master was simply trying to get in Nash's head.
“Under normal circumstances, this would be clear-cut case of arson,” said Sgt. Lance McCullough of the Arizona State Police. “But with Phil Jackson, it gets a little complicated. I mean, the guy has a reputation for playfully tweaking his opponents. As bad as the damage is – and it’s really bad – this is vintage Phil Jackson. And frankly, I think it’s good for basketball.”
Experts believe the arson attack will add an additional layer of intrigue to the Western Conference finals.
“Phil Jackson has just raised the stakes in this series,” said ESPN’s Mark Jackson. “Will Steve Nash succumb to his head games, or will he be able to brush it off and concentrate on winning? My bet is the latter. Steve Nash is too smart, and too much of a veteran, to let some childish antics like this distract him from his goal.”
When pressed for a comment, Nash admitted he found the incident “upsetting” but said it would not affect his performance on the court.
“With Phil it’s always something,” Nash said. “He’s either tweaking the refs or getting in a dig about your playing style or reducing your mansion to a pile of ashes. If I get pissed or take it personally I'll be playing right into his hand. The only way to get revenge for this incident is to win the series – or possibly bang his girlfriend.”