Kobe Bryant: ‘I Grew up Under Phil’
Kobe Bryant guaranteed the Lakers would beat the Mavericks in Game 4 and still believed his team would win the series despite being down 3-0. They came out, played an awful Game 4, and truly embarrassed themselves with cheap shots to the Dallas players. Even though he had to be hurting inside, Kobe was as gracious as I’ve ever seen him following a defeat. Kobe exuded nothing but class, shared thoughtful sentiments about Phil Jackson, and he gave Dallas its proper due. Kobe said “The credit belongs with [the Mavericks],” and then he explained how he feels about Phil Jackson, who likely is done coaching.
“Phil, it’s tough for me to put into words what he’s meant for me. I grew up under him. So the way I approach things, the way I think about things — not only in basketball but in life in general — a lot of it comes from him because I’ve been around him so much, so it’s a little weird for me to think about what next year’s going to look like.”
I almost had to catch myself from choking after hearing that. Kobe? Kobe really said that? Kobe has feelings? I thought Kobe was only capable of scowling publicly, but he proved me differently. He was actually sentimental, and even in his toughest moment he was able to express how he felt about Phil Jackson.
I always thought Kobe was an independent guy who didn’t have a heart, but apparently he “grew up” under Phil. Don’t know about you, but that’s just crazy to hear from Kobe.