Phil Jackson Outlook on Bryant Changed during Rape Allegations

Published on 16-May-2013 by Stacey Mickles
Basketball - NBA / NBA Daily Update

Former Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson

To see former LA Lakers head coach Phil Jackson's relationship with Kobe Bryant these days, you'd think they were best friends.

But if you read Jackson's new book Eleven Rings: The Soul of Successthat relationship was put to the test by Bryant's rape allegations back in the 2003 season.

Bryant was accused of rape by a young lady in Colorado, the charges of which were later dropped in 2004, but Jackson says that because his daughter had also gone through the same thing with an athlete while she was in college, it took him years before he was able to forgive and trust Kobe.

“Brooke (his daughter) expected me to get angry and make her feel protected. Instead I suppressed my rage — as I’d been conditioned to do during childhood by my parents … it left her feeling alone and unsupported. (In the end, after filing a report with the police, Brooke chose not to press charges.)

“The Kobe incident triggered all my unprocessed anger and tainted my perception of him … It distorted my view of Kobe throughout the 2003-04 season. No matter what I did to extinguish it, the anger kept smoldering in the background."

It seems like during that time, there were rumors of Phil and Kobe not getting along and that Kobe might have been on his way out of LA, but once that relationship healed and got better, the Lakers won championships.

Sounds like Jackson's book is going to be an interesting read, and as we all know, the Zen Master doesn't bite his tongue when it comes to his opinions. Ask current Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni.

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