Reviewing Phil Jackson’s The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul
Phil Jackson wanted Scottie Pippen before Gary Payton and Karl Malone. If would have been great to have Scottie here or Michael Jordan but this never happened.
Phil Jackson: Sounds like an ok guy a little weird. Likes buddhist stuff mediation.
Kobe Bryant: Is a social loner. Big Ego. And has anger problems. I was surprised that many times Kobe just says Motherfucker to Phil. You would think he’ll have some respect for MJ’s old coach. He’s uncoachable and a real jerk. Sees Phil as his father and hates him more because of that. Ultimately, wears down in the finals because of off court problems with his rape case.
Shaq: Shaq seems like a great guy. He has a big ego. Shaq seems very vulnerable and protective. Sees Phil as his father figure and tries to protect him.
Mitch Kupchak: Kisses Kobes ass. Is a real follower and listens to Jerry Buss’s every word. Is the general manager but seems like he has no power whatsoever. Reminds me of Tom Hagen from the Godfather.
Jerry Buss: A real jerk. Just wants to make money. Makes Mitch kiss Kobe’s ass because he’s a free agent.
Jennie Buss: Nice person. Torn between her father’s business and her lover Phil.
Gary Payton: Complains a lot at the end even though he wants to win a Championship.
Karl Malone: Because of his old age and injury costs the Lakers the championship. Otherwise is hard working and a super athlete. Is determined to win the championship unlike Gary.
Derek Fisher: A great guy. Takes a back seat with the arrival of Gary but still plays hard and doesn’t complain.
Rick Fox: A great veteran leader.
Devean George: Very talented but still doesn’t know how to use it.
Kareem Rush: Great player as long as he doesn’t party with his brother Jaron.
Horace Grant: A great backup to Shaq, and Karl but gets injured.
Bryon Russell: Followed Karl to the Lakers. Never understands the triangle offence and is never used a lot.
Slava Medvedenko: Plays a lot due to injury to Karl Malone.
Jannero Pargo: Young kid, that the Lakers choose to waive. Kid plays very hard and everybody gets emotional when Pargo leaves and tries to play harder. The emotional part of the book involves Pargo getting waived. Pargo has done well for himself in the NBA now with the Hornets he has become a big time shooter.
Luke Walton & Brian Cook: Rookies.
Note: Phil wanted to trade Kobe before to the Suns for Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion. This might have gotten the Lakers five championships. Remember this is a young Jason Kidd before his New Jersey days and a young Shawn Marion as well.
Phil many times talk about the good old days with the Bulls. Horace seems like a great old friend and MJ and Pippen, Kerr, Luc Longley still have close contact with their coach. This is funny because in the Jordan Rules book you learn that Phil Jackson has a tough time with the Bulls players. Pippen has a big ego and always wants a big contract and Horace Grant complains a lot. Time changes everything.