In an interview with Seth Davis, Phil Jackson talked about his first coaching stint with the Lakers, and more importantly, Kobe Bryant during that time. Davis wondered why Bryant would run a guy like Shaquille O’Neal out of town knowing that they could have won more titles together.
Jackson discussed Bryant having both team and individual goals that he wanted to achieve, and that he expressed concerns about being about being able to achieve both team and individual goals to both Jackson and Jerry West.
In Jackson’s book “The Last Season,” Jackson said that Bryant was un-coachable and even demanded that he be traded. However, the tension between the two have simmered over the years, and they even won two more titles together when Jackson re-joined the team. Both Jackson and Bryant have a great relationship now, something Jackson considers a father-son relationship.
I love Kobe Bryant. I consider him like my son. I consider him someone that I’ve had an intense relationship with that’s mellowed and really developed over the course of the years.
While it’s looking like Jackson may never coach again, he regularly gives advice to the Lakers front office, namely to Jeanie Buss and talks with Bryant regularly.
Bryant is hoping that his title winning days aren’t behind him. He’s currently recovering from an Achilles injury, but hopes to return to the team sometime in the coming months. In the mean time, we’ll have the memories of the five championships that Bryant won with Jackson as the head coach. Check the full interview below.