pkESPN: Maybe we need to start a new theme: Kobe Bryant can’t win a championship without Phil Jackson.

The great irony of Bryant’s drive for independence from Shaquille O’Neal was that it reinforced the philosophy that you can’t do it on your own. Everyone needs help, and the method for Bryant to acquire the greatest individual reward of his career — the 2009 NBA Finals MVP trophy — was to buy into the wisdom of his coach and former nemesis. In turn, the final steps of Bryant’s evolution allowed Jackson to stand alone as the coach with the most championships in the history of the league.

Over the five years during Jackson’s first stint as Bryant’s coach, the two had grown as distant as California and Maine. Jackson asked management to trade the young star. And when it looked like Jackson wouldn’t be back after the 2003-04 season, Bryant’s response was “I don’t care.”

Contrast that to the lovefest of recent days, when Bryant said, “I’ve been spoiled my whole career playing with Phil. It’s hard to imagine playing for anyone else, obviously. I grew up with him.”

Jackson praised Bryant’s growth, recalling a conversation they had early in Bryant’s career after yet another game in which the ascending star got caught up in his own agenda, this time a one-on-one battle with Vince Carter in Toronto:

“I talked to him a little bit about leadership and the quality and his ability to be a leader, and he said, ‘I’m ready to be a captain right now.’ And I said, ‘But no one is ready to follow you.’

Continue reading ‘Better together: Kobe and Phil’

  • lakers2000

    Do it again, do it again!

  • TOUCHING_MYSELF

    I SECOND THAT!!! It’s true that everybody needs help to win the championship, cause no one can do it alone! But here’s the thing. Even though SNAQ did it without Kobe, he still needed a Kobe-esque type of player (D-Wade)! Now he wants to try to team up with LeHype!

    On the other hand, Kobe’s not only proven that he can win without SNAQ, but also that he didn’t need a dominant center to win! Kobe’s team this year were all great “role” players with the exception of Pau! Even though Pau wasn’t a role player, he wasn’t a “dominant” player either. He did however dominate his opponents! He was the only other player besides Kobe that had a consistent playoff series!

    So, here’s the flip side to the SNAQ and Kobe thing… now D-Wade’s gotta prove that he can win without SNAQ as well. And if SNAQ’s gonna go and be teamed up with LeHype, then LeHype’s gonna have to prove 1st that he can win with SNAQ, then if they are fortunate enough to win (which they won’t) then he’ll have to prove that he can win one without him!

    All these dilemmas! Only Kobe’s come up with the cure to his problem! It took him a few years, but he was able to overcome it!

    CONGRATS KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #76391 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Shaq has been going downhill ever since he left the lakers. He didn’t even win the MVP in the Finals with the Heat.