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Ex-NFL Star Shannon Sharpe SLAMS 'Foolish' Phil Jackson After Legendary Coach Says NBA is 'Too Political'

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Apr. 25 2023, Published 1:30 p.m. ET

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Former NFL star and Fox Sports broadcaster Shannon Sharpe slammed legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson as "foolish" after he said professional basketball was "too political," RadarOnline.com has learned.

On Monday's episode of Undisputed, Sharpe discussed Jackson's recent comments on why he stopped watching the professional basketball league with cohost Skip Bayless.

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Sharpe didn't hold back when it came to his thoughts on Jackson's recent interview with Rick Rubin on his podcast Tetragrammaton.

Rubin asked the former Lakers coach if he watched a lot of basketball — and to listeners' surprise, Jackson responded, "No."

According to Jackson, the game became "too political."

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Jackson followed up his answer by recalling the season during the height of the COVID pandemic when teams trekked down to Florida to play in the "bubble." Essentially, it was a way to control the spread of the contagious virus within qualified teams while being able to broadcast games to restless fans at home, albeit without actual spectators in attendance.

For Jackson, this era of NBA was far too political as it coincided with protests that erupted in 2020 following the death of George Floyd by ex-police officer Derek Chauvin.

The professional basketball league embraced its athletes who protested police brutality and supported the Black Lives Matter movement, which was seen through decals added to the court and slogans on the back of players' jerseys.

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"I couldn't watch that," Jackson told Rubin as he chuckled that his old team had actually won that year. "People want to see sports not political," the former eleven-time championship-winning coach added.

Following Jackson's comments on the podcast, Sharpe hit back during his show

"Can you tell dumb dumb politics have always been in sports?" Sharpe said of Jackson. "Ali, Jack Johnson… Go back in history of the time. Politics have always been in sports."

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Sharpe and his cohost then discussed Jackson's persona decades ago when he was known for his anti-war position and willingness to "dabble in mind-altering drugs."

"Now, all of a sudden, it turns him off," Sharpe told Bayless, as he noted that Jackson's comments did not reflect the average viewer.

"I don’t care nothing about what’s on the court," Sharpe continued. "Can they go put the ball in the basketball then go ‘d’ up? I wanna see the shot making. I wanna see the ball handling. I wanna see the creativity. It wasn’t what’s on no damn court."

"Come on, Phil. You sound foolish," Sharpe added with a slam dunk on Jackson.

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