Phil Jackson is at it again. The man known by many as the “Zen master” is the king of controversy via the written word. Whether exploring Kobe’s early selfishness in The Last Season, or just teasing the twitterverse with vague yet informative tweets, Phil has never feared ruffling some feathers.
His new book, aptly titled 11 Rings: The Soul of Success, available everywhere on May 21, apparently finds Phil focusing on a Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant comparison; a conversation Jackson has largely shied away from in the past.
Considering Jackson is the man that led both MJ and Kobe to all of their collective NBA titles, it is interesting to finally hear his insight on the issue.
It is safe to say that Phil didn’t disappoint.
Jackson states that Bryant’s desire to not only be great, but to be literally better than Jordan was evident early on, and in 11 Rings, he reflects fondly on a face-to-face meeting between Michael and Kobe during his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Kobe was hell-bent on surpassing Jordan as the greatest player in the game. His obsession with Michael was striking," Jackson begins.
Even to the casual fan the similarities between the two were extremely evident.
"When we played in Chicago that season, I orchestrated a meeting between the two stars, thinking that Michael might help shift Kobe's attitude toward selfless teamwork,” Jackson continued.
After they shook hands, the first words out of Kobe's mouth were, 'You know I can kick your a** one on one.'"
Yep, sounds like Kobe. After all, it is bold, brash statements like this that have helped made Kobe such a polarizing player.
Some may call him crazy, but no one can claim that Kobe lacks confidence, for good or for bad.