x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Phil Jackson's sniping at Kobe Bryant has a hollow ring

Somebody needs to give Phil Jackson a basketball job so his keyboard can get a needed rest, comments Steve Dilbeck.

Though he backed away from comparing Kobe Bryant, left, to Michael Jordan in a previous book, Phil Jackson, right, addressed the subject in his latest tome.
Though he backed away from comparing Kobe Bryant, left, to Michael Jordan in a previous book, Phil Jackson, right, addressed the subject in his latest tome.

Phil Jackson cannot need the money. He is a bright guy and could not have squandered the US$84 million (Dh308m) earned coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

Yet he certainly acts like someone in need of another big payday.

Jackson has written another book. He retired two years ago from coaching, for at least the third time. But he has an active mind, and it has been bus, writing Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.

Eleven refers to the record number of NBA titles he won coaching the Chicago Bulls and Lakers. Yet he always seems to have another itch to scratch, and in his latest book, he again manages to demean Kobe Bryant.

He did it before when he retired the first time from coaching the Lakers. In The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul, he really blasted Bryant. He called the star guard "uncoachable", said he wanted him traded, and claimed that at times, their relationship was "psychological warfare".

Then he re-signed with the Lakers, made up with Bryant and won two more titles.

In his new book, after years of refusing to compare Bryant to Chicago's Michel Jordan, he does exactly that.

"Michael was more charismatic and gregarious than Kobe ... No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender ... One of the biggest differences ... was Michael's superior skills as a leader".

After all these years, is this now necessary? It is unbecoming. Feels beneath Jackson. Somebody give him a job so his keyboard can get a needed rest.

 

sports@thenational.ae

 

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