The holy trinity of Los Angeles Lakers basketball in the early 2000’s – featuring Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and head coach Phil Jackson – didn’t need to like each other, as long as they won together.
And that they did, to the tune of three-straight NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. The on-court brilliance of the “Black Mamba” and “Superman,” paired with the Zen mastery of one of the greatest sideline generals in league history, overcame tension, animosity, and obvious hostility behind closed doors.
In 2004, Jackson wrote a tell-all book on his experiences in Los Angeles during the 2003-04 season entitled “The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul.” Jackson was critical of Bryant, referring to him as a selfish player and uncoachable, to which the 17-time NBA All-Star was defensive about during an early-2015 interview with GQ.
When asked about Kobe’s negative comments in an interview…
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