I just heard a funny quote from that sneaky Laker coach Phil Jackson. In the context of an answer purporting to say that there was nothing at all wrong with LeBron, DWade, and Bosh deciding to join their talents and take them to South Beach, Ol’ Flipper snuck in this gem” …they just decided to collude together.”
Not “join together”, mind you. Not “play together” or “get together” or even “conspire together”. No, Coach Phil chose to characterize the Legion of Doom’s summer schemes as “colluding together”. (maybe I’m wrong but the phrase “collude together” seems redundant. How do you “collude apart”?)
Anyway, what’s so sneaky about Phil’s quote?
In the American lexicon the word “collusion” has a special pejorative meaning. It doesn’t merely connote a partnership or conglomerate. Because of its central usage in the statutory language of the nation’s Antitrust laws, the verb “to collude” connotes a form of joining together not for the purpose of competing fairly, but for a sneaky, secretive and often illegal purpose that normally involves some form of cheating or bending the rules of play in your favor. (actually if you look up the word it has a french origin that has always meant a sneaky or deceitful partnership, but the word is rarely used outside economic and antitrust law circles).
Phil is so funny. He is like that ex-girlfriend you had who would always couch a zinger in a purported compliment and would therefore constantly draw the question, “What did she just say?… I think…no… did she just call me… an asshole?”