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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson's stand on Arizona immigration law brings praise and criticism. What do you think?



Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has generated some controversy for remarks he made about Arizona's new crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Asked about the law, Jackson told reporters: "Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the Arizona Legislature] say, 'We just took the United States immigration law and adopted it to our state?'" Arizona lawmakers simply "gave it some teeth to be able to enforce it."

His comments prompted a few dozen protesters to march in front of Staples Center on Monday. Others have said Jackson's comment's are totally appropriate.

Times columnist Tim Rutten isn't one of them:

"Jackson's original statement was not a declaration of neutrality, nor was it an argument for holding sport above politics. It was an endorsement of the Arizona law and a criticism of another NBA team that opposes it," Rutten wrote.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

Photo: Michael Novick of Los Angeles, left, protesting with others outside of Staples Center after Lakers Coach Phil Jackson's comments on Arizona's immigration law, gets into a verbal exchange with Mark Steven of Santa Ana, who is in support of the law. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (64)

The law is the law-don't tell me that it was different in the late 1800s and early 1900s when immigrants from all over came to this country-LEGALLY-because they saw they could have a better future. THEY LEARNED ENGLISH! THEY CELEBRATED THEIR NEW COUNTRY-NOT THE OLD ONE! THEY ADAPTED TO THE CUSTOMS OF THE USA! THEY WERE PROUD TO BE AMERICANS! In the words of my immigrant Italian grandmother: "You're in America-You speaka da Eng., no Italiano!!" Don't even attempt to say things are different today-if these illegals are so unhappy in their native countries, then let them abide by the laws of this country and apply for legal status, learn and speak English, and be proud to be citizens of the USA. Enforcing this law will not only lessen the horrendous cost of the freebies these illegals are granted (that are paid for by legal, law abiding citizens, many of whom do not have access to); it will also cut into the massive drug smuggling that goes on, to say nothing of the coyote human smuggling. Get a grip-the law's the law and it's time the" look the other way" officials and those crybabies who are being influenced by pressures of the various ethnic groups who stage sit-ins and marches blatantly pushing the "rights" of illegals (they have no "rights"-what is so hard to understand here? ILLEGAL MEANS BREAKING THE LAW!) Phil Jackson is absolutely correct and his view has nothing to do with the "other" team-it's amazing how easily the sheep are led by those who harp and harp on a subject until it becomes "fact" by using false accusations.

I support Phil Jackson and the FACTS he stated concerning the AZ law. I am not a Lakers fan, but a HUGE Phil Jackson fan!!

I approve of punishment/deportation of illegals completely. They are leeches. This country is the easiest country in the world to "join". Simply get a green card or become a citizen. We even allow dual citizenship so you don't have to give up your rights to your "home" country. Now you can pay taxes and reap all the benefits of being an American. Stop being lazy and do the paperwork.

I do, however, see the problem with this law. Look at it from the side of a legal hispanic citizen. White people need to carry papers - no. Asians- no. African Americans - maybe. Hispanics - definitely. That's not too cool. ALL American citizens should be required to carry proof of citizenship to show just like our driver's licenses. The government should supply whatever "ID" we need and we should all share the burden of showing it when necessary. Problem solved and fair to all. We then face only the same profiling issues we already face in this country every day. Better not forget that ID though cause you'll now be held until proof is given, white or not. Still support the law so vehemently after being held for a day in jail for the simple fact that you forgot/misplaced your ID, Mr. Limbaugh? Doesn't matter if you're a citizen or not, you now need to prove it at any time. Everyone must be suspected to be illegal unless proof otherwise. That's the only fair way.

The Arizona law simply supports and enforces a federal law on the books. I am not against immigration, but I resent people who circumvent the process of legal immigration and show no respect for our laws. Their behavior shows disrespect to the thousands who apply legally for citizenship and abide by the laws of our country. Especially now, we need to be able to determine if a felon or other criminal is coming here to escape the law in their own country.

Everyone get on board with the 'Big Wall, Tiny Gate' coalition. I can't even believe that there are real Americans against this law. 'Racism' and 'Nazi' and 'KKK' are irresponsible and ignorant words to describe this law. People are confusing this issue with equal rights from the 60s which is a far cry from reality. Also there are no Nazi trains, no waterless showers and no ashes involved whatsoever. When there are over 10 million people of hispanic origin in the US illegally by crossing the Mexican border, it's pretty elementary who to look for. If that's racist, so be it.

I'm sick of all the peolple with Arizona law. I am a latino and and im sorry to say it is a reason they are called illegal immigrants. They break the law to get over so makes you think majority don't do when they are here. People must realize that hispanics aren't the only illegal immigrants here.I can go on and on but Everyone needs to get over it and leave Phil Jackson Alone and worry about themselves and how to fix the American economy.

Who the hell is Tim Rutten? Just because Phil Jackson is a coach of a professional basketball team, he is not entitled to have an opinion on matters not related to basketball? I find it refreshing that he actually realizes that the United States has a right to enforce immigration law and not let Mexico or any other country dictate its immigration policy to us.

How can those who willingly violate the law expect protection under due process of the same?

Phil Jackson is free to say whatever he wants, but he must remember where he works and lives, and who comes to see he's team play. I would say that one third to half of the fans are hispanic and not just Mexican, some people are SO ignorant and think that all hispanics come from Mexico. Next time you cheer for one of Pau Gasol's plays, remember that he's hispanic too. So wether he supports this law or not, that's up to him, but I don't think he should criticize the Suns for what they did. Just think of how basketball would be like if blacks would not have fought for their right to be regular citizens.

Lakers, believe us!
We always like you,
Whether attend your games,
Or on TV we watch you.
Your’re our great team!
Wish to see you,
In any game that take place,
Our love is that of Romeo.
However how pricy are tickets!
We got’ em in Ticketpolice.com

I agree with the Arizona Law !!!!!!!!!!!! California needed the Arizona law 20yrs. ago. Our schools , hospitals ,and every other tax payer funded service is bankrupt . Most jobs are now requiring the employees to be bilingual. ESL programs take away from other programs that our kids need and the over crowding of the schools takes away the quality of education . Allow them to return to their place of birth and rebuild their own country. No longer should Californians vote for weak politicians who won't protect the tax paying citizens of this country. Pete Wilson and Prop 187 was right . It dosen't matter if the immigrants are black , white brown or yellow They should only be allowed to enter if they can prove that they will not be a burden on society, they must be able to contribute financially or provide employment.

It is just good to know that there's people in the USA who will support the Law of our land. God Bless Arizona and all the 73% voters who support the USA immigration law and put it to force in their state. (compare our immigration law to Mexico's Immigration Law and Cuba's and China's yet Mexico's Presidents came over and spits in our faces and democrats stood up applauding) God help us and help us not to forget 911.


We don't need Phil. I think it's time for a change. First he opens his mouth on a super hot topic, establishes his stance on the issue and then he criticizes the Suns for getting involved in politics. Phil, you should know better. Now I'm waiting for you to clarify your stance. The truth is, I as a fan can live without you.

Why are people in CA so concerned about AZ? Democracy worked a Bill was written & it was passed by the citizens cause immigration is a huge problem in border states. Every citizen can & will exercise their freedom of speech,thats what the "Zen Master"did. LA County is boycotting AZ,huh ignorance is bliss, the boycotter's should read California Penal Code 834b our Immigration Law word for word same as sb1070. The problem is that local law enforcement officers in California don't enforce 834b bunch of pussies & are too tolerant... Everyone should read the California Immigration Law before they diss Arizona's Law.

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