The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul by Phil Jackson

Dr T

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Next book was Phil Jackson’s The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul. I enjoyed this book but also did not enjoy some parts of this book. The last season is a book about my team the Los Angeles Lakers when they had a super strong team. We had 4 hall of fame players and I was sure it was going to be a piece of cake. Phil went through the year in kind of a personal journal of the year. In 03-04, we had Kobe, Shaq, Gary Payton (the Glove), Karl Malone and of course others but with those four guys we ought to have locked it up. In the end we got spanked by Detroit 4-1. Yes there were injuries, and “bad officiating” and all the other excuses but the thing that I loved and hated about this book was Phil’s insights into the personalities of the Superstars. I really understood how much he admired the big man Shaq. Shaquille O'Neal truly was a force at center, he is huge, strong and able to clog up the middle. When he was there to play he was there to play. The thing I didn’t like about him was how he only wanted to play during the playoffs, had his surgery during the season and not during the off season because “I’m not going to do it during my time. I’ll do it on the clubs time,” he said. He would take off and not do any work to stay in shape. Kobe on the other hand has a huge ego. He was going through the rape changes at that time and he and Phil had a hard time working together. Kobe would take too many shots, there was a feud between him and Shaq, and he does not like the triangle offense. Malone was just awesome. He was aged but he could still play and we got a lot of good minutes out of him. I really wish that he got his ring but he never did. :( The Glove did not do his job in the finals and had a really hard time sharing the spotlight with the others. Phil said in this book that he would not coach if Kobe is still on the roster. I didn’t know they had that much consternation between the two of them. The book was a fun read because he wrote about some of the history trying to reign Kobe in, how he used psychologists on himself and recommended other players and one and how he used a friend, a Buddhist, that told him to focus on his breathing. Phil said “thanks” and went on his way. He was looking for something else not a breathing rec. :) It talked about his girlfriend and her father, Dr. Jerry Buss and the other coaches. I really appreciated all the insights about the team even through I did not like hearing that negative things about Kobe and how he could not play with Shaq. Now I see that Phil favored Shaq. This book was 304 pages and I’d give it a 4 stars out of 5. Go read it and talk to me about it.
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