At this point, it is well known that Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and former coach Phil Jackson had some ups and downs during their time together with the team. Everything is well now and the two are always complimentary of each other, but Kobe even revealed in a GQ interview that at times he hated Jackson.
In the fifth part of an ongoing feature on Jackson by ESPN’s Charley Rosen, Jackson noted that he could ‘feel’ Kobe’s hatred, but that their issues were normal player-coach issues:
Yes, quite often I could feel his hatred. I’m sure Kobe was pissed when I wrote in “The Last Season” that he was uncoachable. And, yes, we were often at loggerheads. He wanted more freedom and I wanted him to be more disciplined. This is a normal source of friction thing between coaches and players on just about every level of competition.”
Jackson also noted that the two were able to work out everything during their second stint together, and win more titles:
But when I came back for my second stint with the Lakers, Kobe and I worked it all out. I gave him more of a license to do his thing, as long as it stayed within the overall context of the triangle. And we did win two more championships. Anyway, I’ve always seen Kobe as a truly great player, an intelligent guy and a remarkable person.”
Indeed, Kobe and Phil were an extremely successful pair who won far more than they lost when together. All players and coaches go through their issues, but the fact that these two were able to win so much despite their problems shows how great each was.
Kobe has admitted that he didn’t necessarily realize his place during his early years and was more understanding and knowledgeable during his second time with Phil. At the end of the day, the two won together and that is most important.[divide]