If there were a road map to the NBA championship Phil Jackson would be the Rand McNally of hoops. The guy could get lost on his way to retirement and still end up at the presentation ceremony for the Larry O’Brien trophy. His b-ball senses are that great.
So when PJ speaks, Mike Brown should listen.
One of the complaints Lakers fans such as myself had about Coach Brown’s first year in L.A. was his overuse and overdependence on Kobe Bryant.
KB24 just isn’t the same player any longer. He’s still got the goods. It’s just not the same goods to go 38 minutes a night for the entire regular season and then kick it up to 42+ come playoff time.
Last year Coach Brown leaned on Bryant way too much. Kobe’s knee wasn’t an issue like the last season PJ coached in L.A. but none the less it was a taxing season for the longtime vet.
Now this season promises to be different given the new additions to the Lakers roster. Brown shouldn’t be riding Kobe into the ground this time around. However we’re still talking about a veteran team that has big plans for going deep into the postseason.
Kobe, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace are going to need rest during the regular season to be at their best once the second season starts. So that’s why PJ had a few sage words of advice to offer Coach Brown.
“They gotta watch the wear and tear that goes on because the end result is what counts. It’s not the first 100 yards of the season so to speak.”
You heard the man and we’ve seen that philosophy in action. It seemed like every year the Lakers won a title under PJ the following regular season was filled with up and down performances. However once the playoffs started it was all business.
Now I’m not advocating Coach Brown takes a laid back approach to getting his team through the first 82 games. As this is a new collection of talent that will be learning on the fly it is vitally important everyone gets on the same page. Still, there is something to be said for having a veteran team that peaks at the right time. Phil Jackson mastered the art of knowing how and when to dial up his team’s intensity. Here’s hoping Coach Brown can do something similar with the most talented team he’s ever coached.