Without mentioning him by name, the award-winning Puerto Rican leader Flor Meléndez harshly criticized former leader Phil Jackson for the way he presented the Basketball National Superior (BSN) and Puerto Rico in the fourth episode of the documentary The Last Dance broadcast on Sunday night by ESPN.
Melendez branded Jackson “arrogant” and “a zero left” in a post he posted Monday night on his Facebook account.
“Basketball brothers and good Puerto Ricans. The question we have to ask of this arrogant man, who, although he won in the NBA, left us the coaches of that time and basketball in Puerto Rico, as Gene Bartow, Lou Rossini, Rolly Massimino, Robert Corn did. , Tom Nisalky, PJ Carlesimo, Herbie Brown and many more who repeated several years, and I remember that when we went to their universities they treated us like family. This what he has done, because he could not succeed in our league, both in one of his books and in this documentary, is to speak ill of our league and of Puerto Rico, “wrote the maximum winner in the history of the BSN.
“That guy is a zero left for our basketball and the country. We will remember those coaches who helped our boys by giving them study scholarships in the United States, and those who helped the national team. To the referees who stayed here as NBA referees. Those deserve our recognition. Not this scarecrow, ”added Melendez without mentioning Jackson’s name at any time.
In the documentary, Jackson and his former assistant Charley Rosen discussed their experience at BSN and recounted several anecdotes. Among these is the incident that occurred ten years before he debuted with the Pirates in 1984 in which the deceased mayor of Quebradillas, Rafael Pérez Santaliz, shot a revolver – which wounded an usher – at the Roberto Clemente coliseum in San Juan, in the middle of a game between San Juan and Quebradillas, and for which the former mayor was accused and tried in court, according to ex-player Raymond Dalmau in his book From Harlem to Puerto Rico.
They also mentioned the spilling of chicken blood in the bank of players by the fans. Jackson also highlighted how important the BSN was to his successful career that ended with 11 rings in the NBA.
Jackson led the Pirates in 1984, but his 5-9 record start forced then-agent Pedri Hernandez to dispense with his services. Jackson ended up piloting the Gallitos de Isabela for the rest of the 1984 season, reaching the runner-up, until 1986. A year later he returned to Quebradillas, but was fired again.
In 2017, after Hurricane Maria, Jackson sent a donation of $ 20,000 to help the victims, according to Ricardo Cordero Prats, the son of the deceased co-attorney of the Pirates, Dr. Juan Bautista “Tito” Cordero Lamela.
However, Meléndez – who is at home recovering after testing positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) – was not the only one to criticize the mention of the BSN and Puerto Rico in the documentary that narrates the last championship of Michael Jordan and the Bulls. from Chicago in 1997-98. Former Puerto Rican leader and current ESPN analyst, Carlos Morales, questioned whether the way he presented himself to Puerto Rico was correct.
Naive question: Are you really proud of the way you mentioned our country and the BSN last night (Sunday) in The Last Dance? Or is it that we are like the artists and other celebrities who think that the important thing is that they mention them and talk about them, be it good or bad? ”Morales wrote.