Kobe: No surprise with Phil to Knicks


By the time Phil Jackson met with Kobe Bryant to discuss the possibility of Jackson joining the New York Knicks' front office, there wasn't much left for Bryant to do other than tell his old coach good luck.

"I wasn't surprised by it," Bryant said on "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday. "He mentioned that that was likely to happen and I just wished him all the best.

"Like I said, there's only but so much meditation a person can do all day. You know what I mean? At some point you got to get up and do something."

Bryant had breakfast with Jackson a week and a half ago, before the 13-time NBA champion (11 as a coach, two as a player) finalized a five-year contract with the Knicks that is expected to pay him $12 million annually.

While Bryant told reporters last week it was "hard for [him] to understand" how the Lakers could not create a position for Jackson, he did not bother trying to persuade Jackson to turn down the Knicks and wait for a spot to open in L.A.

"From my understanding, they never had that dialogue since last season," Bryant said, referring to when the Lakers passed on Jackson to hire Mike D'Antoni as coach last November. "So if there was some interest there, I'm sure our organization would have reached out and had those conversations with him."

Bryant, 35, endorsed what the 68-year-old Jackson can bring to New York as he will try to help break the Knicks' 41-year championship drought.

"I just think his mentorship shifts," Bryant said. "I think it goes from having a direct influence on the players themselves to having a direct influence on the coaching staff, which he's accustomed to doing because that's how he coached as well.

"He really had a great rapport with his coaching staff and he was really a great mentor for them, and I'm sure he'll do the same thing and it will just kind of trickle down from there. It's really no different from what Pat [Riley] has been able to do in Miami with [Erik] Spoelstra."

Bryant also said that Jackson should be able to help Carmelo Anthony, a player Bryant counts among his closest friends in the league.

"Phil will be able to provide that knowledge and he'll learn more about the game and open up dimensions of the game that he never saw before," Bryant said. "So, he'll just continue to improve."

He also took exception with Anthony's reputation as more of a scorer than a winner.

"I mean, he won a championship at Syracuse, so he's won a championship before," said Bryant, who also teamed with Anthony to win two Olympic gold medals. "He's been a part of a championship roster. So he has that championship DNA inside of him."

Bryant, of course, is more interested with figuring out a way to capture the sixth championship of his career than how Jackson and Anthony work out. The 18-year veteran softened his public comments from a week ago that questioned the direction the Lakers' management was heading.

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