The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul (Anglais) Broché – 4 octobre 2005
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Phil Jackson allows us to relive this dreadful season, a season that brought him to a conclusion : I need to leave LA...
The Last Chapter of the book is quit funny...
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Phil opens up on the behind the scenes squabbles, pettiness and egos so large they simply defy explanation. In one example, Kobe Bryant is offered the use of a plane by the Lakers to make his trips back to a Colorado courtroom for his alleged rape trial, and instead of being grateful for the support his team is giving him financially, is mad because he thought he deserved a bigger plane.
The book is full of the insights into the battles between Kobe and Shaq. Imagine two first graders with 100 million dollars each and you start to get close to the level of professionalism and emotional maturity. It is often funny, often sad, and usually just shocking.
The book is written very well, a breeze to read through, and a fascinating tale of psychological narcissism gone wild. I recommend highly for fans of the NBA, or just anyone who is interested in team dynamics. It will also explain why the Lakers got beat so easily by a team with far less talent. A lesson to leaders in organizations everywhere.
Former Coach Phil Jackson let's loose both barrels squarely aimed at troubled star Kobe Bryant.
He details the pettiness involved in the constant battles with Shaq and Kobe. About how Kobe complained about the quality of the jet which flew Kobe from his courtroom appearances in Colorado back to LA.
Phil documents how he had wanted to trade Kobe as long ago as the 2000 season but was denied by Lakers Owner Jerry Buss, in whose eyes Kobe can do no wrong.
Phil documents how he comlained to GM Mitch Kupchack that he could no longer coach Kobe but his hands were tied and it was at that point that Phil knew he would not return for the 2004-2005 season.
Ultimately the house of cards came crumbling down in the NBA finals against the Detroit Pistons. Another person argued that the Pistons were not as talented...a fact that I whole-heartedly disagree with.
The Lakers certainly had the two best players...but the best TEAM was the Pistons. A team that worked harder, and a team with underrated but up and coming stars that was too quick, too resilient for the aging Lakers to deal with.
Quite a read!
I couldn't put the book down. Jackson paints a telling picture of the dysfunctional Lakers and the tactics today's NBA coach must employ to get glorified adulated millionaires to play as a "we" and not and "I." What I like most about Jackson's accounting is that he doesn't seek to use this book as a PR piece for himself but rather as a release of the tremendous pressure he endured and the conflicts that it created within himself.
I found it highly interesting and revealing that this book has had a tremendous backlash from the sports establishment. Obviously, they are afraid this book takes some of the shine off the league. In my estimation though, it gets to the heart of what we find most interesting about pro-sports - the emotions, turmoil and conflicts of humans existing in a surreal environment. Jackson himself remarks that pro-basketball is of little consequence in the bigger picture of life.
Jackson's interactions with Kobe Bryant are fascinating as are his beliefs as to what is at the center of Bryant's own inner conflicts. I've admired Jackson for years for his ability to defy conventionality in order to acheive extraordinary success. The very fact that a book of this nature was actually published again demonstrates his ability to break down long-standing barries/status quos within the NBA establishment.
A must read for die-hard NBA fans.