All about Kobe "Kobrone" Bryant: the Master of Arrogance, the King of the Ballhoggers, the Lord of the Liars.

A forum for those who hate pompous, self-absorbed, false athletes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

More Dobe Busting by the Press

You know Dobe has really messed up when all the journalists that usually go through great lenghts to suck up to him take turns criticizing him.

Phil Taylor: Dominant then invisible, Bryant is a conflicted star

"Lakers fans, however, probably found Bryant's most recent eccentricity more maddening than fascinating."

"When Kobe doesn't shoot, something's up. Can you imagine Michael Jordan pulling such a disappearing act in a big game? Or even James, who has already shown a psychological steadiness at 21 that Bryant, 27, still hasn't achieved? Maybe something was said at halftime of Game 7 by Jackson or one of the other Lakers players that rubbed Bryant the wrong way, or maybe he was disgusted with his teammates' jittery play and decided to teach them a lesson by refusing to bail them out. Whatever it was, something brought Bryant's pouty, immature side to the surface again. It reminded Lakers watchers of the last time he removed himself from the offense, in a game against Sacramento a few years ago after he had come under fire for shooting too much."

"But in Game 7, the old Kobe came back -- the Kobe of extremes, the one who insists on all or nothing. This time he gave the Lakers nothing -- nothing but a headache as they try to figure out whether Bryant will ever be even-keeled enough for them to trust him completely. "


Anonymous Anonymous said...

look we understand game 7. game 7 was a bad game for all of the lakers. getting beat by 30 is unacceptable.

but constantly blaming kobe for all the wrong things he did is also not right. of course he has bad games. every stars have bad games. but everytime he does, u blame him lyk he made the world end or something.

you say u give credit when credit is earned, well i didnt see one yet. when he does, u posted that wow, something must have gone into kobe's head or sumthing. u never gave him credit. when lakers were up 3-1, when kobe made that game winning shot 2 times, u never gave him credit for that. none of the other lakers could have done that. what u did was post up that kobe shouldnt be getting all the credit. even in game 6, u didnt give him credit. u didnt even mention that he himself almost beat the suns. instead, what u did was post up "WHere was KObe after game 6?" "where was the chest pounding kobe after he made the game winning shot after game 4" u never give him credit when he earns it.

plz live up to ur words cause rite now ur not

11:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is too funny. ""game 7 was a bad game for all of the Lakers"?

Ha ha, that's funny. The difference is that only Kobe quit on the Lakers. Remember? The other players might have had a bad game, but they never quit on their teams.

Oh wait, but Kobe has to take all the shots b/c his players "are not to be trusted".

Kobe ball never worked, and when he was asked to play teamball for more than 2 games, he QUIT on his team. Those are the words of alot of Sportscasters. Kobe is a good player, but not even sorry-ass Luke Walton quit on his team.

The real question is, as the article that asorto1 & teamplayer, fished-out from SI, how can the Dobe fans forgive him?

Answer: because Dobe fans follow him blindly without taking a second to think what's good for the Lakers, as opposed to what's good for Kobe

The day Kobe wins 3 rings with Lakers, as he did when Shaq carried him on his back, is the day that Kobe shall get credit.

Quitting on your team, or going from being in the finals to NOT making the playoffs, does not get you any credit. Specially if all along, you wanted be the MAN in the team, and you finally get a chance you don't even make the playoffs. And to top it all off, they have to bring your old coach save face.

Nope, no credit for Kobe. But this is not about credit, this is about how Kobe quit on his team to make a point, and how it took him 90 games this year to play teamball, that's not counting all the previous years.

11:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea. the day kobe gets credit is when he wins rings huh.

yea rite. what about the mvp race. even bill russel, the kobe hater admitted that hes the real mvp.

hes going to be the one that is remembered in the next 10 years.

he makes his team the best. u cant hate on him. its true, if u put any player, any player into the the kobe spot, they wouldnt be here. they would have never gotten this far

what about lebron, he never won a championship, it took him 3 years. yea, u say he almost, if kobe was in the east, his team would win 55. for sure. lebron is in the east. put him in the west and hes finished.

whats so funny is that even after all that u posted up there, i still have some respect for teamplayer jd and asorto because of ur reasons. u put up very good reasons. but again, u never post up any accomplishments he did. u never gave him credit. u act suprised if kobe has a good game. u say the lakers are ur favorite team. man plz, everybody would know that its a lie. ur a pure laker hater. if u like the lakers, u would at least give kobe respect. just a little.

kobe gets no respect from the media.. thats true. the media never said that shaq wanted a contract extension and that he wanted to leave because he wasnt getting the 30 mil a year.

12:04 AM

Blogger TeamPlayer said...

People seem to miss the point: this is a Kobe Haters Blog. Not a Kobe Neutral Discussion Blog. We hate Kobe for many reasons and we present these reasons on this blog.

Kobe gets plenty of credit. The whole point of this blog is that he gets too much credit. Like I said before, this blog wouldn't exist if Kobe was a horrible player, had no talent, and never had any good games. The whole point is that he has the God-given talent and fails year after year to realize his full potential because of his horrible attitute and personality.

Kobe has been getting credit from the media for years. When he first came into the league, he was excused for being young. Now his excuse is that his teammates are not good enough. He rarely ever gets criticized for having bad games. When he finally starts playing team ball after 10 years of ballhogging (and like I was saying in a previous article, absent Game 4, his performance was nothing special), the media acts like he just did something incredibly amazing, when this is what any good player in the NBA does consistently. The media always finds excuses for him.

Well, I think the excuses have run out. The media is finally seeing Kobe for what his is - a selfish, arrogant and immature player with some serious psychological issues.

So no, I don't need to give Kobe any more credit, he's been given plenty of chances and he continues to blow them.

I do like the Lakers as a team and a franchise. I have no reason to lie about that. But I don't like Kobe, have never liked him from the start and my dislike for him deepens every year because of his actions. So even if Kobe grows wings and turns himself into an angel tomorrow, I will still hate him. You can't just erase the past 10 years.

12:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

u say he rarely gets criticized?
wow. nobody in the league has to go through all the bs like kobe does.

1:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand what you guys are saying. I feel the same hate for MJ for the exact same reasons and even more because he didn't play for the Lakers. Had MJ played for the Lakers, then there would be no hate. The main reason is because I am a Lakers fan first, then a player fan second. There are some players I do like that never played for the Lakers, but not many.

2:00 AM

Blogger illomatic said...

Dobe is horrible. I love the Lakers. I loved the Lakers during the Vlade and Nick Van Ex years. They sucked during that time. I loved them during the Rodman Shaq and Kobe years, they still couldn't win. But Kobe is a selfish ballhog. All he cares about is himself. He doesn't care about his wife (goes out has sex with other women and lets it get out into the media), doesn't care about his team (gets the most dominant player in the game, and the greatest coach in history fired) He doesn't care about offending his parents. Kobe is the jerk of the year. (

12:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah, blah, blah. Until Kobe retires you have a lot of hating.

12:26 PM

Blogger asorto1 said...


I agree with you 1,000%

The only thing that I would add to your post is the fact that Dobe can now be callled a Quitter, AND that during the whole rape charge, Dobe tried to bring down Shaq by telling the cops that "Shaq also cheated on his wife". Talk about a freaking backstabbing prick. My question to Dobe is, what did Shaq alleged infedility had to do with his rape case? nothing at all.

Illomatic, you're a true Lakers fan, that these people that follow Dobe blindly.

1:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if u hate kobe, u cant be a lakers fan. if kobe fails, the team fails. the offense runs through him. real fans watch the game and hope that their team wins. nooooooooooo not u. ur a lakers fan and u hated kobe through all 90 games they played this season.
if u want kobe to fail, ur not a lakers fan. u never liked them ever.

8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haters hate to congratulate, mad at me cause I'm lookin great
Don't wanna grind just wanna hate, you crummy and I'll run yo 'plate

thanks mike jones for pointing that out to the haters ^^

9:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

a video from youtube

this is for da fans. the haters are ganna hateee this

10:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...




The telltale signs emerged way back in 1999 when the Los Angeles Lakers hired Phil Jackson for the first time. On the day the Zen Master was to be announced as the team’s new coach, 20-year-old Kobe Bryant slipped in the back door of Jackson’s hotel and made his way up to his room to greet him. In Bryant’s hand was a copy of Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops, which Bryant had read.

The Laker guard had long hoped that Jackson would be his coach and months earlier had taken the unusual step of initiating long-distance phone conversations with Jackson’s long-time assistant, Tex Winter.

Bryant wasn’t alone in his desire to greet his new coach.

Over the coming days, Laker center Shaquille O’Neal would travel to Montana to visit with Jackson at his home on Flathead Lake. Long known as a big kid, O’Neal took an immediate liking to his new coach, to the point of jumping in the lake and playing with the various water toys that belonged to the coach’s own children.

Obviously, both players were eager to please their new coach, and to curry favor with him.

Headed into his fourth NBAseason, Bryant had long been viewed as the annoying hid on the Laker block, always eager for more work, always ambitious, always running afoul of what his elder teammates thought he ought to be doing.

“The other players on the team wanted to make sure he earned everything he got, that the coach didn’t just give him something just because the fans wanted to see this young phenom play,” recalled Del Harris, Bryant’s first coach with the Lakers.

That was especially true of Shaquille O’Neal, the game’s dominant young center who felt immense pressure to win championships. Each season his dislike of Bryant had grown.

“What surprised me about Shaquille during our early days in Los Angeles was how frustrated he got,” said former Lakers GM Jerry West. “He was not fun to be around. The shortcomings of our team and his teammates made him angry because he knew he was going to be judged on how much we won.”

How angry?

Just months before Jackson arrived, O’Neal had slapped Bryant during a pickup game at the Laker practice facility.

“It would not be forgotten,” former Laker guard Derek Fisher said of the incident.

When Jackson and his coaching staff began work in Los Angeles, they were caught off guard by O’Neal’s level of animosity toward Bryant.

“There was a lot of hatred in his heart,” Tex Winter said of O’Neal. “he would speak his mind in our team meetings. He was saying really hateful things. Kobe just took it and kept going.”

Jackson had long been known for building an outstanding personal relationship with Michael Jordan in Chicago. That had been his strategy from the start: A great relationship with Jordan meant that everyone else on the team would fall in line.

Jackson astutely read that he faced a more severe choice in Los Angeles. The situation dictated that he could not be close to both Laker stars. So he made a logical choice, according to Winter. “Very early in our time in Los Angeles, Phil made the decision to go with Shaq. And he made it clear to Kobe and the press and everyone else that it was Shaq’s team. He made it clear he was far more interested in accommodating Shaq than Kobe. And Kobe seemed to accept this.”

Winter, however, began to have concerns immediately. He said he told Jackson that he seemed intent on making Bryant his “whipping boy,” the player on which the coach traditionally takes out all of his frustration. Winter told Jackson that making a budding young superstar a whipping boy wasn’t a good idea.

“Phil was trying to figure me out a little bit,” Bryant recalled. “one of things I told him is, ‘There’s nothing to figure out. I’m just trying to play the game and learn the game the best I can.’ Once we got that established we started moving a little bit. But I didn’t get into his mind games. I had so many other things to think about with this game. I didn’t really have the time even to do that.”

Perhaps Bryant should have paid more attention.

His relationship with Jackson only worsened over their five years together in Los Angels. Winter said it was made worse by Jackson’s refusal to have any sort of in-depth meeting or relationship with the young guard.

At the same time, Jackson leveled a variety of public attacks at Bryant during those years. At one point, Jackson told reporters that Bryant had sabotaged his own high school games to make himself look like a star, a comment that brought howls of protest from Bryant’s high school coach.

Despite the situation, Bryant kept his anger under control, Winter said, until the 2003-04 NBA season. It was a contract year for both Bryant and Jackson, and the coach responded with a media campaign to discredit the guard. It culminated with Jackson’ book, The Last Season, that depicted Bryant as a selfish and uncoachable player.

Jackson had worked behind the scenses several times in not-so-subtle ways to get Bryant traded. But in January 2004, he decided on the direct approach, Jackson went to owner Jerry Buss and told him he could no longer coach the team if Bryant remained.

Having witnessed the unfolding behind-the-scenes drama over five years, Lakers owner Jerry Buss told Jackson that was fine; his services would no longer be needed.

Stunned, Jackson abruptly changed his approach with Bryant. Suddenly, the coach began trying to have a relationship with Bryant, Winter said. And Bryant responded in kind.

“But it was too late,” Winter said.

Buss had made up his mind. Jackson had to go. And the owner had no desire to meet O’Neal’s demands for a lengthy extension on his $30 million plus a year contract. So the Lakers traded him to Miami (where O’Neal would later meekly agree to play for $20 million a season).

As he was cleaning out his office, a jilted Jackson did his best to portray Bryant as the villain in the breakup of the team, and soon that perception became the reality, simply because so many people believed it. Jackson made sure of it, phoning reporters as he drove from Los Angeles to his summer home in Montana. He dialed up columnists and radio talk shows to offer his version of events. Sports columnists everywhere who had no idea why the Lakers had fallen apart simply began reporting as fact that Bryant had schemed to make it happen.

Despite the blame game Jackson was playing so deftly, he would later admit the truth. Despite all his success in Los Angeles, he had failed in his handling of Bryant. And that was one of several factors in the breakup of a very successful team.

“in the final analysis, it’s the coach’s responsibility to manage the team in the proper manner and not have those things happen,” Winter said.

It was simply a huge mistake to not keep Bryant in the loop, Winter said. “I think Phil realizes that now.”

The debate over the issue would play as a steady refrain through most of the 2004-05 NBA season. It grew louder as O’Neal’s Miami Heat charged out to be the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Jackson’s campaigning had helped sales of his new book tremendously.

And it seemed to be the final straw for Kobe Bryant. He had absolutely no trust in Phil Jackson.

On the other hand, it was a frustrating Laker team he played on in the wake of Jackson’s and O’Neal’s departure. They began losing in the spring and failed to make the playoffs.

As much as Winter thought of Bryant, the coach didn’t hesitate to scald him with criticism. “there’s no balance to his game right now,” Winter said of Bryant in April, 2005. “He still has to learn to hit the open man, that if he does, the ball will come back to him. In some ways, he listens to me. In other ways, he’s never really listened to anybody, has he?”

Bryant’s attempt at leading the Lakers failed miserably.

“Kobe had a tough time,” Winter said. “I think his teammates really got down on him. He tried too hard to be a leader.”


As soon as the rumors started, Tex Winter couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony Phil Jackson return as Lakers coach for 2005-06? As mentor and confidant to both Jackson and Bryant, Winter was clearly the man in the middle. He acknowledged that the idea of Bryant and Jackson needing each other was amusing.

Bryant obviously needed help in turning the Lakers around. And Jackson, for all the coaching offers he had, needed a team receptive to his unique triangle offense. Bryant was the ultimate triangle player in the game, and Jackson the only real triangle coach.

Winter, the inventor of the system that had won nine NBA championships, had introduced them both to his creation. And now they both needed it and they needed each other.

In a further note of irony, as Jackson pondered renewing his relationship with the Lakers, he sought a meeting with Bryant. The guard declined, saying he didn’t want to be blamed if Jackson decided not to take the job.

Winter pointed out that during their five seasons together Jackson had declined to engage in any sort of in-depth meeting with Bryant yet regularly criticized him to the

Now it was Bryant’s turn to decline to meet.

Observers guessed that the guard wanted Larry Brown or Brian Shaw to coach. Bryant stayed mum, though.

Ultimately, Jackson announced his decision to accept a three-year deal at a record $10 million per season on June 14, calling the decision at his Staples Center press
conference a story of “reconciliation, redemption and resiliency.”

Jackson did not make it clear just who it was in need of redemption.

“it Wasn’t about the money, but the intrigue of this situation,” Jackson said. “it’s a tremendous story and a tremendous opportunity. It’s a story of reconciliation, redemption, of reuniting – a lot of things in this make for a wonderful opportunity for the team, the Lakers and myself.”

Jackson wore a suit and sandals to the press conference.

“I’m not the panacea for this basketball club,” Jackson told the media. “It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take some time. But we do think there is some hope, and we can make some changes that will really benefit this team and we can get back into the playoffs again.”

For his part, Bryant, who turned 27 in August, issued a prepared statement saying, “His hiring is something I support.”

Jackson made a point of telling reporters that Bryant had phoned his congratulations that morning. “You know, I think after we play a few games and get kind of a feel of working together, we’ll really feel like we’re ready to go,” Jackson said. “I really encourage him to find a way to get his zest back for the game, not that he doesn’t lose his competitive edge, but the whole game. He wants to come back and make some people eat some words.”


Jackson and Bryant finally had that first serious meeting at Laker offices in July. According to Winter, Bryant wasted no time in making his feelings known about certain things Jackson had done to him. It was first step in the two trying to re-establish some sort of trust.

Jackson had endured a similar meeting several years earlier. In 1991, Jackson had served as an anonymous source for Sam Smith’s explosive expose, The Jordan Rules, a book that infuriated both Bulls GM Jerry Krause and Jordan for its unflattering portrait of them.

Seeing their anger, Jackson blamed the anonymous leak on his mentor and assistant coach, Johnny Bach, a sweet old guy and basketball lifer.

Eventually, Krause, Jackson and the Bulls fired Bach for “leaking” the Jordan Rules info, although they never explained that. He had a heart attack in the weeks after his
devastating release. In 1998, Jackson’s treachery became known, and sometime later Bach and Jackson had a meeting. Bach wouldn’t reveal what he said to Jackson in the meeting that day, although the elderly coach said he made it clear what he thought of Jackson’s lowdown ways.

Now, Jackson was having a similar come-clean meeting with Bryant.

It’s not an issue that Bryant wants to discuss publicly. As much as Jackson did to color Bryant’s image in the public’s eyes, the guard knows that he has done far more damage with his ill-thought actions, including his world-famous sexual assault case in Colorado.

“I don’t really think about my image,” Bryant says. “It will shake out. People who talk about me in a negative manner, they don’t know me. If they had a chance to be around me, to kick it with me or whatever and get to know me, then they could judge. I think that will come out as the years go by, or whatever. People will see how I truly am, what I’m really about.

The first step in rebuilding his reputation will come with the upcoming season, predicted to be another difficult one for the Lakers.

Some observers wonder if the history between the guard and coach will resurface in the challenging months ahead. Jackson doesn’t take losing well. He once threw two chairs on the floor while coaching a Continental Basketball Association game.

Winter, though, thinks it will work. “I think they feel like they can help each other,” the longtime assistant said. “I think Kobe feels that Phil can help him be more effective. And Phil certainly feels like we need Kobe if we’re going to have any kind of season.

“Phil will take an entirely different approach with Kobe now, ” Winter said. “I think he will spend more time with Kobe individually and involve him in the strategies of the game. Kobe will like that. Before, Phil didn’t include him in things. In the final analysis, Phil felt the big guy was more important. But that will change now.”

Another thing that will change is how the team runs the triangle offense. Now, the Lakers’ triangle offense will look like it did when the Bulls ran it. With O’Neal in Los Angeles, the triangle was more flattened because O’Neal demanded the ball, Winter said. “We had to spend most of the time getting the ball into Shaq. Otherwise, he’d be very upset and yell, ‘Feed me the ball!’ With a player like Shaq, that was the thing to do, but it took away from the other players. We had to adjust to Shaq. Kobe tried to do what he could do on his own. He got the ball inside to Shaq. And Shaq got Kobe the ball, too. They played well together. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have won three championships. But there was always that attitude.”

Now, the ball will still go inside in the Lakers offense, Winter said. But the offense will work a lot better than it did when interim Lakers coach Frank Hamblen was forced to
adopt it on the fly at midseason.

“Frank didn’t have the time to install the offense like it should be done during training camp,” Winter said. “That was tough on Frank. He knows the offense very well, but he had newer players who didn’t understand the offense. With players not sure what to do, Kobe had to take over. Yes, he tried to do too much. But he was forced to do that to try to win games. When the ball went to Kobe, he had to try to do things off the dribble.”

When the triangle works, the ball goes into the post and then the other players move and feed off the center.

“This year, the ball will have to go into the post, even if that post isn’t Shaq,” Winter said. “we’ll get back to a semblance of how we ran the triangle in Chicago. Luc Longley and Bill Cartwright were our centers in Chicago. Neither one of them ever aspired to be great scorers. They were happy to move the ball.”

Even though Bryant knows the triangle better than any NBA player, Winter isn’t ready to predict that the guard will blossom this year in the system. “I don’t know,” the 83-year-old coach said. “his bad habits are pretty well entrenched. Bad habits are hard to break. Kobe has got such great physical tools. And he wants to do the right thing. That’s the big thing. He wants to do it the right way. If he gets the right leadership, that will be the big thing. And that’s where Phil comes in.”

During the spring, Winter had expressed concern that Bryant’s spirit had been irreparably crushed by his team not making the playoff.

But Bryant wasted little time in showing during the offseason that his competitive fires were restoked and roaring. He showed up at the Lakers facilities at 6:30 each morning for grueling individual workouts. Shortly after 8 a.m., Bryant’s schedule then shifted to intense weightlifting sessions.

“He’s definitely motivated,” Winter confided. “I hope he’s not overdoing it.”

That, of course, has always been the concern with Bryant, from the very moment he came into the league.

“It’s gonna be interesting to see how he carries himself this year,” Winter says. “he’s had some humbling experiences over the past year. You have to be concerned that he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself. He’s always done that, always had this tremendous need to prove himself. He has this notion to prove he’s the best basketball player to ever play the game. That’s ridiculous. He just needs to go out and have some fun.”

11:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

22 game winning shots in career = kobe

2:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

man stop this nonsense man. teamplayer and asorto man u guys keep teasing him and makin fun of him and all other bs. man u think he doesnt listen to haters? u think he thinks for himself only? man hes not a prick. if he was, he would be blasting people like u guys. hes not, he shrugs it off and uses it, even he gives respects for haters, he wants u to know he tries his hardest and if he fails, he knows its his fault..
yet u still pick on him, chew him up, spit him out and laugh at him. man u trying to ruin his life, his image is already deeply runied. hes trying to get it back. trying to be himself and theres no changing ur mind. man think of it, what if one of u are getting criticized for everything what if you enter an arena full of thousands of people booing u every time? u wouldnt feel good. so just look at urself, u token this too far. this aint even funny. if you think it is, your obviously a little kid. and i know ur not.

2:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe- another honor
all defense first team

lol and you say he sucks on d.

hate it with all your heart

1:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if he was, he would be blasting people like u guys. hes not, he shrugs it off and uses it, even he gives respects for haters, "

Just like the way he brushed off Barkley's post game comments? Texting him 20+ times with profanity and all that? Sure, Kobe "brushes off" his haters. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.


8:00 PM

Blogger TeamPlayer said...

Great point, Joyce, I forgot all about the textmessages! Kobe is the last person to brush anything off his shoulders. His whole attitude is him against the world. Did you not see him in Phoenix putting a hand to his ear so as to mock the fans chanting "Kobe Sucks"? What about the chest pumping routine that he does after having a good game? If that's not an "F U to all those who doubt me," I don't know what is.

When you choose a career as an NBA player and accept a paycheck for millions of dollars a year, you step into the limelight of the public eye. With that comes praise when you do well and criticism when you don't. Every player gets criticized and every player deals with it. Don't feel pity for Kobe - he deserves every piece of criticism that he gets. As I was saying before, he has been cut so much slack by the press for years.

And by the way, I think it's funny that you think that he is actually affected by what we say on this blog. I doubt Kobe or anyone connected to him has time to read this blog or even knows of its existence (not that I would mind if they did). Maybe if he did, I would be getting texts from him as well.

9:13 PM

Blogger TeamPlayer said...

In response to whoever posted excerpts from that Roland Lazenby book - what credibility does this guy have? He is a journalist, and not a known one at that. He speaks about meetings and conversations as if he were there himself. He has written several books on the Lakers, all with the same slanted perspective. I wouldn't be surprised if he's paid by Kobe, everything he writes sounds like Kobe dictated it. I'd rather believe what comes from the horse's mouth - Phil Jackson.

Here are excerpts from Phil's book:

"In the following excerpt from Phil Jackson's upcoming book, The Last Season (published this fall by Penguin Press), the former Lakers coach describes the difficulties in trying to manage an increasingly petulant Kobe Bryant while trying to keep the Lakers focused on the season at hand, and not themselves.


Los Angeles

In the first six weeks after the Colorado story broke, I did not speak to Kobe [Bryant]. I called for a third and final time from Montana, but again the machine answered. He never returned my calls. Imagining the anxieties in his new life, I was not offended. Kobe will confide only with the people he trusts, and I certainly have never been a card-carrying member of that group. Mitch [Kupchak] and I wondered whether Kobe, as some people have suggested, might elect to sit out the entire season. We also talked about perhaps offering him a leave of absence. No professional athlete, I believe, has ever tried to perform at the top level of his sport for any extended length of time while fighting to keep his freedom. We didn't wonder for too long: we recently received word from Kobe's people that he intended to treat the upcoming season like any other. He must be in denial. This season, if nothing else, cannot possibly be like any other.

Finally, earlier this week, Kobe came into my office at our training facility in El Segundo. He looked weak and gaunt, down to maybe a little more than two hundred pounds, ten or fifteen less than his standard playing weight. Most NBA players participate in pick-up games during the off-season and work out daily to maintain the conditioning they'll need to compete in top form. Many use the time to develop another move or facet of their game, something, anything, to provide them with an edge over their opponents. Kobe has been playing basketball since he was three years old. He loves the game more than anything else. To realize that he hadn't been doing much physically was quite a shock.

"We really want you to survive this thing," I told him.

He smiled.

"Are you getting any help?" I asked. "Do you have anybody to talk to?"


"Kobe, you've got to have someone to talk to."

"We have a minister."

"That's a start."

We didn't rehash our old conflicts. We were here to talk about this year, this team, and the necessary adjustments to make this coming season successful. We didn't go over his case. We discussed how he was recuperating from the injuries to his knee and shoulder. The conversation was fairly harmless. Until out of nowhere it became anything but harmless.

"I'm not going to take any s--- from Shaq[uille O'Neal] this year," Kobe blurted out. "If he starts saying things in the press, I'll fire back. I'm not afraid to go up against him. I've had it."

I tried to calm him down as quickly as possible. "Kobe, we'll watch what's being said," I assured him. "We'll make allowances this year so you'll be able to do what you have to do and then come back to the team. Don't worry. We're hoping for the best."

I looked him right in the eye and gave him a hug. No matter what had gone on between us in the past, he is a member of the Laker family, and families stick together in difficult times. I was sure that at least for the moment, the anger he flashed toward Shaquille was neutralized. After we wrapped up, Kobe headed straight to see Mitch, who later informed me that nothing had been neutralized.

"Shaq didn't call me this summer," Kobe told Mitch.

"Kobe, I gave you a message from him," Mitch responded. "He invited you to Orlando to get away from everything."

"Shaq didn't have to leave a message through you," he said. "He knew how to reach me."

The exchange with Mitch revealed the underlying contradiction in Kobe's attitude toward Shaquille, a symbol, in fact, of a much broader dichotomy in his psyche. On the one hand, he insists that he doesn't "give a shit what the big guy does," but on the other, he shows he cares a great deal about what the big guy does. The meeting with Kobe reinforced an idea I had been contemplating since July, since Colorado, since everything changed. I decided to enlist a therapist to help me cope with what will surely be the most turbulent season of my coaching career. After receiving a few recommendations, I selected a therapist who has dealt with narcissistic behavior in the Los Angeles public school system. He'll be right at home here.


Los Angeles

I wonder what Kobe is thinking. Yesterday he reiterated his intention to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. I would never oppose a player's desire to explore his true market value -- if only the players in my era had been granted a similar freedom -- but I do question his sense of timing. Since the charges were made, Kobe has been treated remarkably well by the Lakers organization and the fans. He gave his press conference at Staples with our blessing, and we have agreed -- once we attained permission from the league to make sure the funds wouldn't be applied to the salary cap -- to cover a percentage of his private plane expenses to and from Colorado for court hearings. This will cost thousands of dollars. Kobe was unhappy with the type of plane that was selected; he wanted one with higher status.

After eight seasons together it was clear that Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were headed in different directions.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles

After going 3-5 during the exhibition season we started serious preparations a few days ago for, at long last, tonight's opener at Staples against the Dallas Mavericks. While we put together probably only one decent half in eight games, this is a veteran group that will know how to perform when everything matters. This being the Lakers, the longest-running soap opera in professional sports, there has been plenty of intrigue off the court over the last seventy-two hours. The stars of the newest episode? Why, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, of course. Their most recent feud had taken place in early 2001. After a two-year hiatus, the duo have reunited -- wrong word, I suppose -- for a sequel. I heard the news while checking out video of the Mavericks, trying to devise a game plan to disrupt their highly explosive attack. There was a knock at the door. Kobe walked in, anxious to talk about another highly explosive attack.

"He popped off," Kobe said. I did not have to ask who "he" was.

"You're kidding me," I said. "What did he say?"

"Did you read the paper? It's in the paper," he said.

It was in the paper, all right, Shaq suggesting that for the Lakers to be successful this season, Kobe, who played in only two exhibition contests, needed to rely more on his teammates until he regained his full strength.

"Is this what you're talking about?" I asked Kobe.

"Yeah," he said.

"Kobe, what's wrong with this?" I said. "Shaq is right. This is exactly what we want you to do." ....

But the anger did not disappear. After practice, Kobe fired back at Shaquille, through the press, exactly as he promised he would in August. "I definitely don't need advice on how to play my game," he said. "I know how to play my guard spot. He can worry about the low post." The war was on.

"He doesn't need advice on how to play his position," Shaquille said, "but he needs advice on how to play team ball. If it's going to be my team, I'll voice my opinion. If he don't like it, he can opt out."

On and on it went, the two protagonists in top form. Why don't the two get along? I have my theories, one of which is that Shaquille is making the type of money -- about $25 million a year -- that Kobe will never earn due to the changes in the league's collective bargaining agreement. No matter how many MVP trophies Kobe might collect in the decade ahead, there is nothing he can do about this discrepancy. In fact, the word I got was that Kobe was the only player in the entire league who voted against the agreement because of the cap it put on salaries.

The newspapers, needless to say, have treated the Kobe-Shaq feud as if it were the second coming of Cain versus Abel. IT'S THE RETURN OF STAR WARS was the headline in the [Los Angeles] Times. The story was destined to last for days and days, every basketball reporter in the city, maybe the nation, on a scavenger hunt for the next insult or innuendo to filter through the grapevine. There was only so much the Lakers could do to try to tame the beast, and whatever we were going to do, we had to act fast. I placed a call to the therapist. "Get them apart," he recommended. "Tell them that what they're saying about each other is not doing anybody any good." He mentioned a psychological term for this damage-control strategy: suppression. I took Shaq aside, and Mitch found Kobe.

"We can't have this," I told Shaq. "This isn't right. We're on a mission, and we want nothing more in the press." Shaq was not in the mood to suppress anything. "Phil, I have a stepbrother," he explained, "and when I was young, I was the outcast. Everything I did was wrong and everything he did was okay even though he did stuff that I could never get away with. If I tried to do it, they would have beaten the heck out of me. It's the same situation with Kobe. He ends up getting an operation from some doctor, who knows where, and I end up getting an operation and I'm the one criticized for it. I end up looking like crap in this thing, and he can do whatever he wants. I'd like to pound the chump." I empathized with Shaq but I told him the team needed to put the feud behind it as soon as possible. He agreed to keep quiet. This was another example of the basic difference between him and Kobe. Ask Shaq to do something and he'll say: "No, I don't want to do that." But after a little pouting, he will do it. Ask Kobe, and he'll say, "okay," and then he will do whatever he wants. Against our instructions, Kobe did an interview with ESPN, vowing that if he were to leave the Lakers at the end of the season, it would be due to Shaq's "childlike selfishness and jealousy." So much for suppression.


On the subject of losing Kobe, I wonder once again whether our relationship has deteriorated beyond repair. Earlier this week at El Segundo there was an incident at practice. On the way to the court, I asked Kobe, still nursing a sore shoulder, if he was up to doing a little running. Sure, he responded, as soon as he finished his treatment. Almost an hour went by, and there was no Kobe sighting. Finally, with an ice pack on his shoulder, he took a seat on the sideline. It began to dawn on me that contrary to what he had told me, Kobe had no intention of running. After practice I followed Kobe to the training room, asking him why he lied to me. He was being sarcastic, he said. Wrong answer. I wasn't in the mood. Believe me, I can't begin to imagine how difficult this whole ordeal has been for Kobe, but that doesn't mean I will allow myself to be the recipient of his displaced anger, especially when I've been firmly on his side since the Colorado story broke.

Now I was the one who was angry. I went upstairs to see Mitch in his office. Wasting no time, I went off on a tirade about the need to deal Kobe before the trading deadline in mid-February. "I won't coach this team next year if he is still here," I said emphatically. "He won't listen to anyone. I've had it with this kid."



This afternoon I did something I almost never do. When Shaquille and Rick [Fox] stepped off the bus at our hotel in Coconut Grove, an upscale Miami suburb, I asked them to enter my suite for a brief chat. From the puzzled expressions on their faces, I could tell they were extremely curious, perhaps alarmed. I believe the time on the road between practice and the tip-off is almost sacred; the players should be allowed to prepare in their own ways for the challenge awaiting them. But this time I was facing my own challenge, and it had nothing to do with the Miami Heat. Recognizing that my relationship with Kobe was becoming more acrimonious by the day, I decided that a conversation with Shaq and Fox could not wait any longer. At practice the day before Kobe, who told [trainer Gary] Vitti that his finger hadn't healed sufficiently for him to play in the Miami game, was taking a few shots left-handed when I asked him not to be a distraction. I needed to work with the players who would be suiting up. "Distraction," he said, mockingly, unable to resist taking one more shot. A few hours later, during dinner in Key Biscayne with the staff, Vitti told us that Kobe has been threatening again to opt out of his contract, vowing "to take Slava [Medvedenko] with me." Slava? Was this an indication of Kobe's being totally out of touch with reality? If Kobe was interested in taking along a player who would defer to him, Slava Medvedenko was the worst choice imaginable. He hasn't passed up a shot since November.

Shaq and Rick took a seat in my room. Inviting Rick, I felt, would keep the discussion at a high level. I got right to the point. "What would you guys think if I were to offer Kobe a leave of absence?" They wasted no time, either. Kobe, they promised, would contribute to the team in a positive manner once he recovered from his finger injury. I was gratified to note the genuine sense of compassion, especially coming from Kobe's supposed enemy, Shaquille. The press, I have long believed, with its sensationalistic, insult-to-insult coverage, has captured only one component in a rather complicated relationship between two proud, if emotionally fragile, superstars. Shaq and Kobe will never be buddies, but they remain linked together by a common goal, perhaps destiny, each aware that they can't win championships here without the other. With Rick and Shaquille opposed, along with Mitch, I filed the leave of absence idea away for good. "What happens if he won't accept it?" Mitch asked. In that case, I replied, I would tell Kobe that we would suspend him with pay regardless, but for PR purposes call it a "leave of absence." The choice would belong to him. I knew precisely what I would say: "Kobe, you're not a positive element with the team anymore. You can't have these kind of anger situations in front of your teammates because it's destructive to the balance that has to be maintained."


A conversation with Kobe often reveals one of his many narcissistic tendencies. After I told him I believed he and Shaquille have proven they can play effectively together, he brought up Sunday's All-Star game, captured by the Western Conference squad 136--132. Shaq led the way with twenty-four points and eleven rebounds. "I got Shaq the most valuable player award last night," Kobe said. "I know how to make Shaq the best player on the floor." No doubt he was right. Nobody, when he is committed, can deliver the ball to Shaq more consistently, in a better spot, than Kobe. Yet if I were to acknowledge this point, I would betray Shaquille and arm Kobe with ammunition he might later exploit for their one-on-one battle that although camouflaged, always simmers under the surface. Kobe then expressed his disapproval of Shaquille's failure to show up for practice today. "That just shows you what kind of a leader he is," he said. "The conversation is about you and me, not Shaq," I said. He was angry about the allowances the Lakers afford Shaq, failing to note the hypocrisy in his accusation. Nobody this year, or in any year I've coached, has received more "allowances" than Kobe Bryant. At times the pettiness between the two of them can be unbelievably juvenile. Shaquille won't allow himself to be taped before a game by Gary Vitti because he's too aligned with Kobe. Kobe won't let Chip Schaefer, Shaq's guy, tape him. Reporters aren't immune from these territorial disputes. If a writer lingers too often around one superstar's locker, he is likely to be shut out by the other.


Los Angeles

With the playoffs less than a week away, we need to be coming together. Instead, we're coming apart. At the center of the latest turmoil is -- who else? --Kobe. This time, in a strange twist, he's being crucified for taking too few shots: only one, unbelievably enough, in the first half of Sunday's game in Sacramento, which we lost by seventeen points, ruining, in all likelihood, any chance to win our division. He finished with eight points, his lowest total ever in a game in which he played at least forty minutes. The theory being tossed around is that Kobe, stung by criticism for his shot selection in recent games, decided to show the Lakers how stagnant the offense can become when he doesn't assert himself. "I don't know how we can forgive him," one anonymous teammate was quoted as saying in today's Times.

Today at practice, Kobe went from player to player, shoving the article with the anonymous quote in their faces. I have rarely seen him that incensed. "Did you say this?" he demanded of each player. Later, during a team gathering, he pursued the interrogation. "Right here and right now," he said, raising his voice, "I want to know who said this shit."

Nobody said a word, until Karl finally broke the silence. "Obviously, Kobe, no one said it or no one wants to admit they said it," Karl said. "You've just got to let it go now." Karl and Kobe, who have become buddies, launched into a shouting match that I had to stop.

"We have to get over these types of things," I told the guys. "You can't be playing as a team if you're going to be harboring sentiments that aren't good toward each other." Desperate measures, I'm beginning to think, might be in order. Maybe we'll return to meditation, something, anything, to improve our karma.

"Are you feeling like you're going to come back next year?" Jeanie [Buss] asked me.

"Well, not if Kobe Bryant is on this team next year," I told her. "He's too complex a person. I don't need this."


Los Angeles

By the time he walked off the court after Game 5 of the Finals, Phil Jackson had already decided he would leave the Lakers if Kobe Bryant remained with the team.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
This was one day I will certainly never forget. In the morning I met with Kobe. In the afternoon I saw [Lakers owner] Dr. [Jerry] Buss. By the evening I no longer had a job. I was not surprised in the least, yet the end of any journey is always jarring. Once again I will need time to reflect. Kobe arrived in El Segundo with his agent, Rob Pelinka. Before the formal exit interview with Mitch, who was still meeting with [Derek Fish[er], I invited them into my office. I couldn't help but think of my meeting with Kobe back in February on the day after the All-Star game, when I was trying to salvage a relationship and a season. There was great tension, yet in a sense Jeanie right. Kobe and I did work well together -- for four months, that is. This time the same tension between us wasn't there. We both knew I would never coach him again.

While waiting for Mitch, we discussed Kobe's upcoming court appearance in Eagle County.

"Is the trial going to interfere with your free agency?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "The date hasn't been set yet."

"If it's set in July, will you be able to work around this?"

"Yeah, I'd have meetings on the weekends."

"How long will the trial last?"

"Anywhere from one to three weeks."

"Is there still a chance that there won't be a trial?"

"Yeah, there's a chance but either way, it doesn't matter. The outcome will be the same."

Just then Mitch came in. The chat was over. It was time for the official meeting. Mitch, Kobe, and I moved to the conference room.

I started by casually asking Kobe who called him on his cell moments before we left the locker room for Game 5. It was Brian Shaw, he said, a former teammate and part of our organization. "He told me to get after Gary [Payton], to make sure he was fired up." The advice, it turned out, was sound, but answering the call wasn't appropriate.

I then told Kobe how pleased I was with his ability to put aside our conflicts after the meeting in February, and make a strong commitment to the rest of the season. Mitch didn't waste the opportunity to praise Kobe's remarkable performances. The next subject was his decision to become a free agent, which killed a minute or two. I then got down to the questions I really wanted to ask.

"Will my presence or absence have anything to do with your desire to play for the Lakers?" I asked.

He looked puzzled. I rephrased the question. "Would my being with the Lakers or retiring have any influence on your desire to remain with the Lakers?"

He said I should make up my mind about my future independently of his decision.

"I'm going to retire," I said.

He raised his eyebrows. For the first time in the entire conversation, I thought I detected a little emotion.

"Really?" he asked.

I nodded. The next subject was Shaquille. "Will Shaq's presence on this team color your decision to come back or not?" I asked him.

"Yes, it does," he said.

"There's no doubt about that," he said. "I've done that for eight years with him, but I'm tired of being a sidekick." His sentiment came as no surprise, obviously. In the last few years the entire city of Los Angeles has heard many times from many "sources" that Kobe was no longer willing to play a subservient role to Shaquille. But to hear it in the words of the only source that matters, to hear Kobe say "sidekick," really struck me. I told Kobe I hoped he would find happiness in basketball and in his life, and that his family would remain intact after everything that had transpired in the last year. The meeting was over.

I understand why the Lakers treat Kobe as their most valuable asset. The kid will be twenty-six in August. His ability to take over a game, to make an impossible play, is unmatched. Yet it needs to be remembered that Kobe is still an employee, and that he needs direction and guidance in a way that helps him mature into the kind of adult we hope he can be. Kobe is missing out by not finding a way to become part of a system that involves giving to something larger than himself. He could have been the heir apparent to [Michael Jordan] and maybe won as many championships. He may still win a championship or two, but the boyish hero image has been replaced by that of a callous gun for hire."

9:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what. phil came back this season, so kobe wasn't the problem. they patched up their differences

1:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

look im a lakers fan. im a fan of kobe too. i know that he did very childish things and he should have never done some of them. some of the things he did is totally unacceptable. his teamates cant trust him. he know what he did was wrong though. he wanted everybody to know that he was sorry. he even wanted to talk to shaq last year at christmas. he made phil go and probably shaq too. phil came back so things worked out for them. but remember, after shaq left, kobe never fired at him. he never made a remark about him. he became very humble. he even talks about the good times. what happened happened. even though i never wanted it to happen. i never wanted our superstar player to go. i wanted them to work it out together. camon, which team had two superstar players that pippen and jordan couldnt handle. i wont let it go too. i lost a lot of interest in laker games. it takes a whole shit load of work to get a road win for us. when we had shaq it was not a problem. he leads this team but yeah shaq left and we cant seem to be what we used to be. so it was kobes fault that his team sukks. it true, i cant even say it. unless they have another superstar, i wont forgive him. but ill enjoy the games where he killes everyone. thats the only joy of watching

1:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys just don't get it. Shaq was the problem internally with Kobe and the dynamics of the team. Shaq can win in Miami, but he is a big problem when he doesn't get his way. For Shaq it is win because me, but lose and it is everyone else's fault.

1:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea thats kinda true

1:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out...Go Charles Barkley!!!


Sure, it's old news now, because it's the Clippers - not the Lakers - who are still playing, but the controversy won't die.

Why did Kobe Bryant quit in the second half of Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday?

Well, we don't know if he quit trying, but we do know he quit shooting as the Lakers were being blown out by 31 points, providing an embarrassing punctuation mark to a season that many observers believe exceeded reasonable expectations.

We also now know Bryant didn't like the way some people read into his taking just three shots, and scoring one point, in the second half of that game, because Charles Barkley informed us Monday night that Kobe had let him know he was upset with Sir Charles' on-air analysis during TNT's "Inside the NBA" postgame show Saturday.

Barkley, the most outspoken and outrageous TV analyst in sports, said Saturday that Bryant was "selfish" for shutting it down when the game got out of hand, implying he quit on his team, to try to make a point.

Bryant fired back the next day, according to Barkley, in "a series of 20 text messages" between their cell phones.

"He was ... angry, upset ... used (foul) language," Barkley revealed on TNT after the Suns-Clippers playoff opener.

Barkley said Bryant "has the right to text me to give his side, his point of view" and said he "appreciated him being man enough to vent." But Barkley says he hasn't changed his opinion.

"What I told him was I got no agenda," Barkley said of his text messages to Bryant. "I've always said Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the world. ... I just want to make it perfectly clear, I do not have a hidden agenda when I come on the set.

"That being said, I do think he was trying to make (a point). I'm not going to change my opinion. What I said Saturday night I'm going to stick to today. Do I think he quit? I don't think he quit, but I do think he was trying to make a point, and I disagree with his point.

"He's the most competitive player in the NBA ... and I don't find any reason possible for him to take three shots in (the second half of) a game where they're getting blown out."

Barkley didn't specify what point he thought Bryant was trying to make.

This is what we do know: Despite a superb first half by Kobe (23 points on 8-of-13 shooting), the Lakers still trailed by 15 points; that Coach Phil Jackson said he wanted to stick with his original game plan and get back to attacking the Suns by going inside in the second half; that Kobe didn't take a shot in the first four minutes of the third quarter and his only point after halftime came on a technical free throw after Phoenix was whistled for a defensive three-second violation in the lane.

We also know that Jackson finally took Bryant out with five minutes to play and the outcome decided. But the Zen Master was smart enough not to criticize his star player for his second-half decisions, knowing Bryant technically was following his game plan.

"Kobe just sat on that game plan," Jackson said after the game.

But Bryant is known for sparking second-half comebacks and end-of-the-game heroics, so why did he stop shooting?

Did he think the deficit was too large this time?

Was he trying to show Jackson that sticking with his inside game plan was futile, if not foolhardy?

Was he trying to show owner Jerry Buss he needs more help if this team is to be considered a true playoff contender?

Was it all of the above?

Only Kobe knows for sure, but by not shooting he implicitly showed up his teammates and coach.

As Barkley said Monday night, "Obviously, I think Phoenix is the better team, but I expected him to go out in a blaze of glory."

I think Barkley meant he expected Bryant to go out with guns blazing. And didn't we all?

Slam dunks:Did you notice the Clippers trailed by just two points when Elton Brand (40 points on 18-for-22 shooting) went out for a rest with 71/2 minutes left in Game 1? When he returned two minutes later, the Clippers trailed by nine. The Suns won by seven.

How's this for revisionist history? If every field goal was worth two points, the Clippers would have won Game 1 by the score of 120-118.

Hold on to last week's issue of Sports Illustrated, which features a four-page spread on the impending Clippers-Lakers Hallway Series that never happened. Might be a collector's item someday.

And maybe the Lakers should now play the Calgary Flames, who blew their shot at the "Battle of Alberta" by bowing to the Mighty Ducks.

Banner of the Day at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Monday night: "BEAT LA AGAIN."

Someone call the Waaaaaambulance, Kobe bruised his fingers text-messaging Chuck!


2:44 AM

Blogger asorto1 said...

ha ha ha, too funny. Poor Dobe was upset because Barkley pointed-out the obvious on TNT. Every other Sportscaster in the U.S. is saying the same thing, so Dobe is gonna end-up getting callouses from text-messaging all his critics.

The bottom line is that Dobe just dosn't know when to shoot, or when to pass. He quit on his team to make a point of how bad his teammates are, and to show Phil that "teamball" doesn't work. In all my years of watching basketball I've never seen a player, that is suppost to be the leader, sabotage his own team to make a point.

Good job Dobe, you've made your point, good boy!!. OH wait, but by making your point you bought yourself a ticket to GO FISHING. Enjoy your fishing trip while other teams, like the Clippers, move to the 2nd round, and beyond..

11:53 AM


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