LA Lakers Rumors: Did Kobe Bryant Hate Phil Jackson?

LA Lakers rumors address the Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson relationship. The Lakers were able to win five NBA titles with Bryant as one of the star players and Jackson as the head coach, but it wasn’t a smooth tenure for either guy. A report from ESPN has some key quotes from Jackson himself, who says he could “feel the hatred” from Bryant when he was there.

In an interview with basketball historian Charley Rosen, Jackson opened up about Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and his new job with the New York Knicks. He said what fans would expect to hear about Jordan, his hope for the Knicks, and that there was indeed a lot of behind-the-scenes drama with Bryant. Rosen specifically asked what Jackson’s reaction was to an interview Bryant recently gave to GQ.

“Ah, my good friend Kobe Bryant… Yes, quite often I could feel his hatred. I’m sure Kobe was pissed when I wrote in ‘The Last Season’ that he was uncoachable. And, yes, we were often at loggerheads. He wanted more freedom and I wanted him to be more disciplined. This is a normal source of friction thing between coaches and players on just about every level of competition.

“But when I came back for my second stint with the Lakers, Kobe and I worked it all out. I gave him more of a license to do his thing, as long as it stayed within the overall context of the triangle. And we did win two more championships. Anyway, I’ve always seen Kobe as a truly great player, an intelligent guy and a remarkable person.”

These LA Lakers rumors won’t exactly be surprising to fans who were watching the relationship closely. It was extremely clear in the final season Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson were with the Lakers (together) that they simply weren’t on the same page any longer. A future Hall of Fame coach and a future Hall of Fame player had simply reached the end of being able to work together, possibly ruining a part of what they had accomplished up to that point.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Bryant has noted recently that he is willing to start playing small forward in order to help the team. That might be a big help for the current coaching staff, especially if it allows other players to rotate through the shooting guard slot and take over part of the offense. If Bryant is successful at doing that, he could certainly help his legacy with the team. As the highest-paid player in the NBA, he will have to do quite a bit this coming season to prove he is worth it.

As for the relationship between Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, it doesn’t appear that they are going to be considered “friends” anytime soon. Jackson appears to also be the more mature man in this situation, but maybe Bryant will see things differently when he finally heads into retirement. Until the 2015-16 NBA season begins, though, these LA Lakers rumors are going to get mentioned a lot by basketball analysts.

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