Tag Archives: Phil Jackson

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: A Little Adversity

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 11 – vs Sacramento

In life, you’re going to face some prosperity and some adversity. Sometimes that prosperity is making millions of dollars while you perform your craft at a virtually unprecedented level over two decades. Sometimes that adversity is not having the gentle, guding hand of a zen master to help you sustain your success. That’s just the way life goes. But like Phil always said in what I’m sure is a Phil original, “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” Reminder to self: I’m the second kind of man.

In a renaissance of Lakers greatness, we put together our first back-to-back wins of the season. That’s just one win shy of a hot streak, which is basically the team equivalent of my shooting in 4th quarters. Yep, we put a good beat on the Sacremento Queens (Shaq wasn’t exactly Yogi Berra with the quotes, but that line is worth remembering). It’s always fun when your much poorer, less successful, in-state non-rivals come to town and get reminded how much poorer and less successful they’ll always be. C-Webb’s not walking through that door.

D’Antoni’s going to be here soon. I support the hire for now. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the team responds.

-Mamba out

November 13 – vs San Antonio

There was a man who once said, “Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.” That man was probably one of the drunk hobo’s I ignore while I’m coasting towards the Staples Center in any one of my Bentleys. Simpler minds would assume I purchased my $10 million garage with legal tender. While that’s true on the surface, the deep truth is that money is merely the tangible realization of my bestness. I don’t stumble from defeat to defeat. I frollick from championship to championship. It’s the lifestyle I’m accustomed to, and that only made losing to the Spurs tonight more painful.

Normally, watching a professional like Tim Duncan perform at a high level warms my heart. He’s nearly three years older than I am. So when I take into account my superior genetics, conditioning and overseas medical connections, watching Tim reminds me that I have at least another 14 years of best-level performance in me. But tonight, losing to the Spurs was nearly unbearable. It was more about the way we lost than anything. Dany Green hitting a go-ahead three over my perfectly outstretched hand hurt. Watching as Pau Gasol missed a last second shot that I definitely would have made gave me “the announcement” feeling. Simply brutal. Any time that someone who isn’t me is taking a last-second shot, you have to question his commitment to winning. D’antoni will be here soon, and I hope he was watching tonight, because he’d better nip those 4th quarter shenanigans in the bud as his first priority if he wants to avoid going the way of Mike Brown.

I can’t write anymore. I think I’m sick.

-Mamba out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 9th – vs Golden State

Whenever you go through crisis, it’s tempting to wonder about the future. But the trick to dealing with crisis is placing a laser focus on today’s responsibilities. Since I’ve lived every year of my past in preparation for the everlasting present, I wasn’t shocked when I heard about Mike Brown’s dismissal. I got this text from Kupchak:

Mitch: Mike’s out
Me: Phil?
Mitch: Working on him

And that was it. I updated my Facebook page to calm the hysteria of fans, but I couldn’t waste time on further speculation. I had a game against Golden State to focus on. Our second win. I’ll put more thought into this on a non-game day.

November 10th – No Game

There’s no such thing as a mutual break-up.  It usually boils down to some kind of he said, he said situation, and while you try to make it clear that it’s a matter of mutual chemistry and not mutual affection, the message never comes across the right way. You try to explain to the other person that it’s over, that you’d rather be with the old grey man with the fused spine and excellent book recommendations. You try not to make eye contact as the other person realizes there’s no hope left, as he sputters “I tried my best” while wiping the tears away from his admittedly stylish glasses. You try, but you’re really just giddy for the moment that this other person leaves and you can text Phil that you’re single again.

Me: “Hey coach, what are you up to this season? – Mamba”
Me: “It will be different this year. I changed. I got my knee fixed in Germany.”
Me: “You have won six with MJ! Now win six with me! – Mamba”

Sometimes good sense betrays you when you’re texting an ex. I wish that I hadn’t found that Braveheart line so moving. It feels desparate in a third, unanswered text. I’ll bet that Phil doesn’t even have that old cell number anymore. Yeah, that’s it. He wouldn’t just ignore me like I didn’t give him some of my best game-winning years. Would he?

Maybe I should have been a little nicer to Coach Brown.

-Mamba out

Kobe Bryant’s Diary: The Will to Win (cont).

After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”.  While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.

November 8th – No Game

I just read yesterday’s entry in my diary, and I feel a little bad. Of course I was heated about losing, and having a “teammate” assume that I cared about it to an average degree was salt in the wound. To be more accurate, it was a 300-pound salt lick dropped onto my razor-knicked chin from a height of however high a 6-10 deuschbag can lift it above his head. It’s pretty easy to see that Dwight is simultaneously becoming my greatest asset and my greatest enemy at the same time.  I’ll have to keep him close.

That said, I wasn’t wrong yesterday. Whenever you’re truly devoted to being the best, you have to be devoted to winning. And whenever you’ll do whatever it takes to win, people are going to call you selfish. They’re going to say you’re not a “team-player.” You can’t worry about that. Last I checked, it doesn’t matter if I score 50 points and the other five guys score ten apiece or if I just score all 100 myself. If we have more points at the end of the game, my TEAM wins. That’s what being a team player is all about, not letting coat-tail riders hold you back. I think it’s time for me to put the team on my back like Greg Jennings (no matter how frustrated I am with my “teammates,” that short film always helps me find strength). I’m not going to worry about what the “advanced metrics” like usage rate and true shooting percentage say. John Hollinger should have come up with a formula for PWKMAER (Player Who Kicks the Most Ass Efficiency Rating). I would have led the league in that stat for the last 14 seasons. It’s hard to argue with MJ leading the league during my 1st and 2nd seasons. I was too distracted by winning dunk contests and dating Moesha to be serious about claiming the PWKMAER crown at that time. Well, both the dunk contest and Moesha are behind me now. IT’S KOBE TIME!

Wow. I just got a hand-written letter from Phil ten minutes ago. A text would have been quicker, but Phil says that only longhand can carry the soul’s intentions. The letter says:

Kobe,

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

-Phil

Phil’s included a post card that’s pre-addressed to the Budhist temple in the Phi Phi Islands where he’s vacationing. I simply write “Emerson” on the back of the post card and put it in the mail. He’ll know I understood. It’s a long season. Don’t get crazy.

-Mamba out