LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Jackson thinks karma might be behind the Clippers Curse.
The Lakers coach took a playful jab at Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling before their teams met at Staples Center on Friday night. When asked if he believes in curses during his pregame media session, Jackson said he doesn’t — but he is a believer in karma.
“But I can’t proclaim anybody else’s karma,” Jackson said. “That’s their own making. If you do a good mitzvah, maybe you can eliminate some of those things. You think Sterling’s done enough mitzvahs?”
A mitzvah is a Jewish term for an act of human kindness. Karma is the Eastern concept of a person’s behavior shaping their fortunes.
When told Sterling has been active in humanitarian and charity efforts in Los Angeles, Jackson replied: “Yeah, but how about all those other incidents we have on file?”
Sterling, a real estate mogul, agreed in November to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics and blacks and to families with children. The Justice Department sued Sterling in August 2006 for allegations of housing discrimination in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles.
The Clippers lost No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin for the season earlier this week when they determined he needs surgery on his broken left kneecap. It was the latest in an epic string of disappointments that are collectively known as the Clippers Curse.
Griffin doesn’t believe in the curse, saying Thursday that injuries are a part of sports.
The Clippers have had just two winning seasons in the past 30 years, and they’ve won just one playoff series since moving to Los Angeles in 1984.