An excellent book if you're a fan of the Lakers (Can you say Soap Opera?) and the game of basketball. This book was written about the (2003/2004) Laker team with the four "future hall-of-famers" Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. As it turned out it would be the last season of Karl Malone's career. It was the season Kobe Bryant, accused of raping a 19-year old Colorado woman, was flying back and forth between the basketball court and a court of law. Shaq and Kobe were openly feuding (no surprise there) and Derek Fisher was relegated to the bench--which allowed Payton to start. It's a team in turmoil from the first day of training camp. If you're a Kobe fan--you might find out a lot of things about the young star that reveal a narcisstic personality (his arrogance shines through in several places). Shaq has his moments of stubbornness and poor Karl and Gary are left wondering what the hell they've gotten themselves into. An excellent read for Phil Jackson fans--or fans of the fab four.
After this year, Karl retired (boo hoo!) Shaq left town for Miami :(, Gary Payton was traded (against his will), Derek Fisher left for a bigger and better contract with the GS Warriors, Rick Fox retired (after being traded to Boston) and Phil Jackson took time off for a year after not having his contract renewed (Jerry Buss came calling and crawling later)--leaving a rag tag group with only Kobe and Devean George left from the three time championship team--allowing Kobe to rule while fans of the team were left angry and bewildered with front office choices.
The paperback version toned down Phil's comments about Kobe. Or rather, seemed to apologize about how they came across. Of course the paperback came out at the time Phil was back at the Laker Helm coaching the man he had said was uncoachable (Kobe.)
Interesting insight into the inner workings of one of the NBA's most fascinating teams.
You will probably like this if you followed Phil, Shaq, and Kobe during the 2003-2004 season in L.A. ....Phil is pretty up front and honest about evaluating the talent. Lets you see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff in the NBA.
I thought this was a very intriguing book. Regardless of what you think about Kobe, the Lakers and/or Phil Jackson, "The Last Season" is a must-read for NBA fans.