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Phil Jackson needed to explain trading for Derrick Rose, but he didn't

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Phil behaved poorly in Friday’s press conference.

American Express Teams Up With Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson at the Altman Building In New York City Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for American Express

We knew Phil Jackson was going to comment on the Derrick Rose rape trial during Friday afternoon’s press conference, and he tried to get it out of the way in his opening comments. "We anticipate that it will not affect his season hopefully, training camp or games. We'll let due process happen.“ It was fairly weak sauce, especially given how long he had to prepare.

Then Phil went full-on callous when the conference was opened up to questions. He stonewalled ESPN’s Ian Begley when he ask how much Phil had investigated the Derrick Rose case before the trade, saying he isn’t going to talk about that. He refused to answer when asked if he was concerned about the public's perception of the organization.

He dismissed a similar question regarding concerns about the Rose case from Marc Berman with an unctuous chuckle: “"It's not something that's keeping him up at night."

His final comment about the situation: “It’s something we can’t control.”

Bull. Shit. The trial itself is something out of his control, but it has been coming for a year now. Derrick Rose was a member of the Bulls when the world found out he would be going on trial, and Phil traded for him anyway. He deliberately traded for Rose, and Rose’s legal troubles, and he has to own up to that.

The president of a professional sports organization who acquires a player knowing full well that player is about to go on trial for a serious offense should at the very least explain himself. It’s that simple. Phil Jackson not only failed to meet even that elementary standard, he brushed aside every legitimate question on the matter with a smarmy attitude that was hard to stomach. Do better, Phil.