Bills Simmons' "The Book of Basketball" is a shoddily written rush fest of a book with many pieces of mis-information and typos. But it still produces some good info from other writers that Sportsguy has kept in his NBA coffers for some years and is giving us now when making his points. One of the best parts of "The Book of Basketball" is the evolution of Kobe Bryant as BS ranks him the 15th best player of all time.
In April of 2006 after game 4 of the Suns Series, here is what Phil Jackson said to J.A. Adande of the LA Times:
"Somestimes his needs overwhelm the rest of the ballclub's necessity...as we get into the playoffs, that'll dissipate, because he knows that he's got to put his ego aside and conform to what we have to do if we're going to go anywhere in the playoffs. Any player that take sit on himself to do that (play for himself) knows that he's going against the basic principles of basketball. That's a selfish approach to the game. You know when you're breaking down the team or you're breaking down and doing things individualistic, you're going to have, you know, some unhappy teammates...and he knows these things...intuitively, I have to trust the fact that he's going to come back to that spot and know that the timing's right. The season's over, things have been accomplished, records have been stuck in the books, statistics are all jelled in, now let's go ahead and play basketball as we're supposed to play it."
If you remember, this was the same season that Kobe scored 81 against a washed up Jalen Rose of the Raps. This was also the same season where Kobe refused to shoot in the 4th Quarter of Game 7 vs. The Suns and lost by 25. Remember that the Lakers had a 3-1 series lead.