Phil Jackson: No Clipper Curse, Just Donald Karma

By J.A. Adande

There's been more talk than ever of a "Clipper Curse" after this week's announcement that No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin would undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee. But Lakers coach Phil Jackson would rather attach a face to the Clippers' long history of misfortune: the visage of owner Donald Sterling.

Yeah, he went there. Somehow he managed to take a swipe at the Clippers' owner while blending Buddhism and Judaism without any more of a lead-in than a reporter asking, "Do you believe in curses?"

"I don't," Jackson said before the Lakers played the Clippers Friday night. "I'm of that generation that believes in karma. I do think there is karma in effect, ultimately. But I can't proclaim anybody else's karma. That's their own making. If you do a good mitzvah [a Jewish term for an act of kindness], maybe you can eliminate some of those things. You think Sterling's done enough mitzvahs?"

Another reporter replied that Sterling is a major humanitarian (at least if you believe the ads Sterling has placed in the Los Angeles Times over the years).

"Yeah, but how about all those other incidents?" Jackson said.

Sterling has had his share of lawsuits brought against him, most notably a civil suit that in November resulted in him having to pay a record $2.725 million to settle a suit that claimed he discriminated against African-Americans, Hispanics and families with children in the apartment buildings he owns.