Jeanie Buss Gives Details On Phil Jackson's Decision To Choose Books For Players

Melissa Rohlin

While there's no sports, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has decided to entertain her Instagram followers by posting interesting, revealing stories. 

Her latest installment is about former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who would carefully choose a different book for each player to read during the first long road trip of the season. 

"Some would enthusiastically jump right in but others would toss them aside and give an eye roll," Buss wrote. "Once Shaq even wrote a book report! Phil enjoyed cultivating an intellectual curiosity in his players - to have an open mind and seek new experiences, ask questions and never declare something as boring before even giving it a chance."

Buss said sometimes she'd worry that Jackson would be upset when a player wouldn't read the book. 

"It made me sad if I heard any player joking about it; I didn’t want Phil’s feelings to be hurt," Buss wrote. "I shared with him how I felt about it and asked him if it bothered him. His answer blew me away. He said, 'No, it doesn’t bother me. If they take the book and put it on a shelf and it sits there for 10 years that is okay because there will come a day when he reads it and the message will be delivered. There is no time frame on teaching.'"

Jackson won 11 NBA championships as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Lakers, including leading Kobe Bryant to five titles.

Bryant, who retired in 2016, asked Jackson to keep sending him books the last few years. 

Buss said that Bryant even invited Jackson to attend his Mamba Sports Academy to watch him coach his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Jackson visited Bryant in January, shortly before Bryant and Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

"Phil doesn’t coach a player for a season, he coaches him for a lifetime," Buss wrote. "This is why he is great coach but also one of the best human beings I know. He mentors former players and makes time to listen and encourage."

Below are the books that Jackson chose for nine of his players to read during the 2009-2010 season, the year Bryant won his fifth and final title. 

Shannon Brown: "Dreams from My Father" by Barack Obama
Kobe Bryant: "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell
Andrew Bynum: "Six Easy Pieces" by Walter Mosley
Jordan Farmar: "Makes Me Wanna Holler" by Nathan McCall
Derek Fisher: "Soul on Ice," by Eldridge Cleaver
Pau Gasol: “2666” by Roberto Bolano
Luke Walton: "The Monkey Wrench Gang" by Edward Abbey
Metta World Peace: "Sacred Hoops" by Phil Jackson
Sasha Vujacic: “Reservation Blues” by Sherman Alexie

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