In his book, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, Phil Jackson speaks candidly about his relationship with Kobe Bryant and how things changed with them after the rape accusation in the summer of 2003. As Jackson puts it, the incident involving Kobe "cracked open an old wound" that stemmed from Phil's daughter being the victim of an assault while she was out on a date with an athlete in college.
"Brooke 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."
While the charges were eventually dropped in 2004, it took much longer for Phil and Kobe's relationship to be on the mend. In fact, Jackson highlights the Lakers' Game 7 victory over Boston in the 2010 Finals as not only the most satisfying moment of his career, but "this was our moment of triumph, a moment of total reconciliation that had been seven years long in coming," The Zen Master said. "The look of pride and joy in Kobe's eyes made all the pain we'd endured in our journey together worth it."
[via Los Angeles Times]