the last season (part won)-los angeles-phil jackson

“The answer is because he can’t possibly imagine anyone ever voluntarily leaving his Los Angeles Lakers, the number-one franchise on the planet. It reminds me of a story about a guy who can’t understand why his girlfriend would ever break up with him.” (262)

“Teamwork is a nebulous thing. It is as ephemeral as love, disappearing at the latest insult.” (1)

“Ultimately though, I don’t believe we developed enough trust between us to win a championship.” (259)

no, i suppose not that year-but here’s the thing about writing a book like this, and subtitling it a team in search of its soul, nothing is forever in love and basketball-not even for phil jackson.

i believe this was at a time when basketball was having trouble drumming up viewers, but was this whole thing a publicity stunt? because how would a team that had been so dissed by this man even offer him the job as head coach again? how could he go in on these players and have them still mesmerized by his fucking triangle? and most importantly, if he hated it so much, why did he go back? for all of his zen-propagation, i have to wonder how much money motivates this man…i mean look at his “long game” in new york right now.

“His decision to delay toe surgery until last September was one of the reasons we didn’t win another championship.” (18)

yikes. and this is about shaq-the one he likes.

kobe, he does not. he goes on and on about how he’s an ungrateful baby, how he’s worried about how the rape trail is affecting him and the team, and how he’s seen as the golden boy so he feels like he’s playing one-on-one every night against the spawn of jellybean. he even goes so far as to suggest that kobe should’ve been traded for jason kidd and shawn marion-let’s imagine the lakers, and the league for a minute if that would’ve happened…

“The fact that the alleged incident took place in Colorado heightened my level of concern. Here was one state in the Union in which the word ‘no’ definitely meant no.” (11)

just for the record, which are the ones where “no” means, uh-maybe?

to address the fact that kobe didn’t like him insinuating that he sabotaged games, he said, The point was well taken, and one I will bring up when the right moment comes this fall.” (13)

to me, this sounds exactly like when dennis rodman was all crying up on oprah‘s couch claiming that he would apologize to scottie pippen for breaking his nose in front of the whole world when they won a championship together-that shit never happened either.

this book gives first-hand insight into phil jackson’s attitude about players, and his paternalistic borderline overseer’s attitude on how to deal with “his charges”. he tells of splicing clips from the three stooges into his game videos to keep their attention and to teach them the errors of their ways. (sigh).

“But taking money out of their pockets, I’ve always believed, is not the most effective way to keep players in line. Far more threatening is the loss of my approval. Despite their tremendous talent, they are still, by and large, young adults, seeking validation from an authority figure, and there is no greater authority figure on a team than the coach. Needless to say, in today’s warped, self-indulgent climate, too many players couldn’t care less about appeasing the coach. So how do I combat these forces? Well, one way is to take away playing time. The loss of playing time means the loss of precious stats, and most threatening, perhaps, the loss of potential income. Being ostracized from the group also brings shame and embarrassment.” (73-4)

this is kind of like hearing ceos speak on how they built their success on sapping the talents of people who don’t know how to properly use them and claim how they accomplished everything against all odds-everyone’s against them-the players, the refs, the management. it’s a bit disheartening, like the success stories that are supposed to inspire you but just reinforce the idea that in order to get ahead, you have to be a complete asshole.

coming up tomorrow-“i’ve got a huge chip on my shoulder about no longer coaching in chicago”.


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