Phil Jackson sat down with a group of traveling beat reporters on Thursday night, as the Lakers gear up for a game against the Portland Trailblazers.
Jackson spoke in depth about his plans to retire after the season, and how he has been anticipating retirement for the last two seasons.
An interesting story was told when he was asked about his 11 seasons coaching Kobe Bryant, and the evolution of Kobe as a player.
Kevin Ding, from the Orange County Register, wrote about Jackson and Bryant’s relationship, and how earlier in Kobe’s career Jackson arranged Michael Jordan to sit down and talk with Kobe Bryant:
Jackson told the story of arranging a first meaningful meeting between Bryant and Michael Jordan in the 2000-01 season, which was filled with Kobe-driven friction after the first championship the previous season. Jackson’s goal was for the learned Jordan to get the eager Bryant “to understand he didn’t have to stray outside the offense” and the Zen idea to “wait till the game presents itself.”
Jackson said Bryant’s first comment to Jordan, however, was: “I can take you one-on-one.”