Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul
|Narrated By:||Stephen Hoye|
|Date:||20 October 2004|
Nine-time NBA Champion coach Phil Jackson knows all about being in the spotlight-about high-profile, high-pressure seasons coaching gigantic personalities through adversity and controversy in the middle of a media hothouse in which every move is another headline, another installment in the soap opera. But nothing-not six championships with the Bulls of Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, not three previous championships with the Lakers of Shaq and Kobe-had quite prepared him for the only-in-Hollywood high-wire act of the Lakers' 2003-2004 season.
In The Last Season, Jackson tells the full inside story of the season that proved to be the final ride for this great Lakers dynasty. From its beginnings in the off-season-with the signing of the future Hall-of-Famers Karl Malone and Gary Payton and the enormous expectations it created, and the bombshell news of the felony sexual assault charges against Kobe Bryant, one of the league's marquee superstars-Jackson describes the many challenges that arose during this turbulent season. Juggling enormous egos with enormous sums at stake, managing difficult relationships and public feuds, facing injuries, contract disputes, and team meltdowns, all in the shadow of the Kobe Bryant trial-slash-media circus, Phil Jackson somehow guided his team through to its fourth NBA Finals in his five years as its coach. There, finally, his team ran out of road, a failure Jackson examines with the same deep honesty and wisdom he brings to bear on the rest of this amazing season.
Few seasons in memory can rival this one for drama, and fewer coaches rival Phil Jackson in the ability to write about it with such wisdom and clarity. The combination has produced, in The Last Season, a book of tremendous human drama and timeless appeal, rich in lessons about coaching and about life.
Jackson is known for his use of Tex Winter's triangle offense as well as an holistic approach to coaching that is influenced by Eastern philosophy, earning him the nickname "Zen Master". Jackson cites Robert Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of the major guiding forces in his life. He also applies Native American spiritual practices as documented in his book Sacred Hoops. He is the author of several candid books about his teams and his basketball strategies. Jackson is also a recipient of the state of North Dakota's Roughrider Award. In 2007, Jackson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996, as part of celebrations for the National Basketball Association's 50th anniversary, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history. He retired from coaching in 2011 before joining the Knicks as an executive in March 2014. He was let go as the Knicks' team president on June 28, 2017.