02-11-2011, 10:11 AM
NBA Legend and Hall of Famer
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Land of 16 NBA Championships
Article: LA Times - Minds matter to Coach Phil Jackson
Source: Minds matter to Coach Phil Jackson
Reporting from Boston
Even though Phil Jackson has called this season his "last stand," he's not going to ride off quietly into the sunset.
Sensing the need for a team pick-me-up, the Lakers coach asked longtime friend and sports psychologist George Mumford to talk to the players several hours before they took on the Boston Celtics.
It seemed to work.
Mumford "really inspired me to play a little bit better, to be a little bit more mindful," said Andrew Bynum, who had 16 points and nine rebounds in the Lakers' 92-86 victory Thursday. "He just talked a lot about mindfulness and not allowing outside things to distract you. Train your mind to keep coming back to the center."
Jackson also chose to hand out a book to each player the day before the game, part of his annual literary attempt to enlighten his players. Unlike previous years, he declined to reveal publicly which titles went to which players.
Some of the players were open about sharing their titles, some were not ("None of your business," snapped Kobe Bryant), and others, uh, couldn't remember.
"I forgot," Ron Artest said, smiling. "It's in my bag. I totally forgot the name of it."
Lamar Odom, a true fan of the sport he plays, received "The Book of Basketball," a 700-page tome of basketball history by ESPN columnist Bill Simmons.
Pau Gasol received the classic "Catch-22." "He said it was entertaining and humorous," Gasol said. "I will read it."
Bynum received "Drown," a story of the American Dream pursued by immigrants in New Jersey.
"I like it because I like to read," said Bynum, who can often be seen at his locker before games staring at a Kindle. "Most of the [other players'] books probably collect dust."