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Jeanie Buss: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson distributes books for eight-game trip

Phil Jackson

Apparently, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson did have time to make a trip to Borders. He joked with the media after Tuesday's practice that his interview session was preventing him from gathering his supply of books he planned to distribute to the team for its eight-game trip -- a custom he's done dating back to his coaching days with the Chicago Bulls.

Thanks to the insight of Jeanie Buss' Twitter page, we now have a finalized list. This is probably my own fault, but I haven't read any of the following books. I'll keep everyone posted on any player reactions regarding their book assignment.

Ron Artest: "Sacred Hoops" by Phil Jackson

Kobe Bryant: "Montana 1948" by Larry Watson

Shannon Brown: "Dreams From My Father" by Barack Obama

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

DJ Mbenga: "Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member" by Sanyika Shakur(Author), Monster Kody Scott (Contributor)

Adam Morrison: "Che – A Graphic Biography" by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon

Lamar Odom: "The Right Mistake" by Walter Mosley

Josh Powell: "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois

Sasha Vujacic: "Reservation Blues" by Sherman Alexie

Luke Walton: "The Monkey Wrench Gang" by Edward Abbey

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson listens to the national anthem during pregame ceremonies during the 2009 NBA Finals in Orlando, Fla. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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M&M, I think Zaira already scooped this a couple of threads back.

MM - getting scooped by Princess Zaira's gotta hurt right? Just a little? LOL!!!!

BYNUM "Six Easy Pieces" Book:

Chapter 1: I need to focus.
Chapter 2: I should stay agressive on defense.
Chapter 3: I have to rebound.
Chapter 4: I should understand who are the gifted players on my team.
Chapter 5: I should forget about the All Star Game.
Chapter 6: I need to learn how to read between the lines what coach Jackson says.

GASOL "2666" Book

2 : Two points Pau.

1. You have to talk seriously with Drew and tell him who is in charge and what his role is.
2. You have to explain him that Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo made the All Star Game doing what he has to do.

666: Be evil on the court ... be more selfish and ambitious. You have to shoot more and demand the ball strongly. You're over 55% from the field with double teams and 85% free throws.

Montana 1948 for Kobe is a very interesting choice... I taught this novel to university freshmen. It's a short, powerful book. Not the best writing, but a very intriguing storyline. I won't spoil the plot, but let's just say that one of the themes is the damaging power of secrets.

I wonder if Kobe will actually read it.

The Monkey Wrench Gang: That book is all-time. Fantastic. Edward Abbey at his very best.

Go Lake Show!


Thanks for your reply. Though I feel The De Leo's brothers are the band of STP, Scott Weiland is an integral tertiary piece. But with Velve Revolver, the fit is like Gary Paton's glove in '04.


CURIOUS if.............. any of these players have the capacity and aptitude to digest these books?

Are we not dealing with jocks and not intellectuals? Also, some who never attended college.


Curious George

A thought on the "point guard of the future" topic.

I'm not sure if anyone has posted this idea yet, but it just occurred to me while reading Eric Pincus article about the potential of the Lakers trading for Devin Harris.

This summer has the potential to be an AWESOME time to shop for the point guard of the future, and the reason is John Wall. Wall is Kentucky's PG, and the most hyped potential draftee since LeBron.

The team that gets the number 1 pick will almost certainly take Wall, and will likely trade off their existing starting PG so they can start him right away.

So who currently has a shot at winning the John Wall lottery? And what good point guards might this make much more available?

Utah (New York's pick, maybe their own if they miss the playoffs) - Deron Williams.

Minnesota. Wall in = Rubio out.

Golden State. Stephen Curry.

Clippers. Baron Davis.

New Orleans... dare I even dream it. If they could have a superstar PG on a rookie contract, get a couple of other talented players at lower salary, and save money, New Orleans might actually consider trading CP3

Milwaukee - Brandon Jennings

New Jersey - Devin Harris

And other teams that could conceivably slip out of the playoffs, and get a miraculous win of the lottery:

Phoenix - Steve Nash
Chicago - Derrick Rose
Oklahoma City - Russell Westbrook

- - - - - - - - - - -

Or of course, one of those teams might win the lottery and decide to keep their existing high-quality PG and trade the rights to Wall instead.

Either way, it would cost the Lakers someone serious to get a D-Will or a CP3. But if the possibility came up, I'd give up Bynum for Deron Williams. Would you?

Great post Mark. I saw jeannie's tweets- but nice to have them all here, and with all the links. Thanks.

Don't be mean against MM, okay? He has lots of things to do while following guys around the Big US. :)... I just copied and pasted Jeanie Buss's list cos I follow her on Twitter and that was super easy and super fast.

No big deal.
I am way more interested in Mark's Chronicles about players reaction to the books (Pau!!!! Your book is a great one... I loved it and hope you will read and love it too :) :) :) )

I am an avid reader and I am sure many of you here are as well, so I posted that cos not all of you are on Twitter (tsk... tsk... ;)) and I am sure you wanted to know the mytical book list.

I by no means wanted to steal anything from MM :)

Beside having read already Pau's book, I also have already read both Derek's and Shannon's. If others are as good as those, PJ is not only a Zen Master, but also a Librarian in disguise. ;)

AXL ROSE, that is not the Pau´s job. Not forget than Pau is only 2 years in L.A and Bynum obviously still much more years here. The Lakers organisation and probably the Buss family loves Bynum like a family member and Pau is only a player working right now for his organisation and tomorrow may be not.

Congrats from Barcelona and Go Lakers.

@Curious George, you're not really saying you can't be an intellectual if you don't attend college? I know plenty of people that didn't attend that I'd consider intellectuals in my family.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Dubya went to Yale. It didn't do him any good.


Bynum for Williams: In theory I would do it in a wink of an eye as long as we can play other system than the triangle where Kobe is the guy pointing on offense and massaging the ball.
Besides without Ariza (and probably Shannon next year as he will get a better contract somewhere else) we don't play transition offense so frequently as we used to.
You also have to consider that a 7'1'' guy that can walk and chew gum at the same time appears once every three years being optimistic. And when you don't have one on your team, you bet the farm for them even if their name is Tyson Chandler (healthy) or Greg Oden (Bynum wannabe).

@Zaira, OK I wasn't being mean to M&M, I was just pointing out your awesome scoopiness. For the record.

hmmm, adam morrison gets a comic book. message?

I've read none of those books, but I have read a lot of Thomas Hardy. I hope that's good enough.


MAIK. Remeber that we should grab the title right here right now. This is Kobe's dinasty mission NOT BYNUM'S.
I guess Mr. Buss loves to win more than anything else. He also loved Divac, Eddie Jones and Horry and he pulled the trigger.
Remeber that Andrew is only a player working right now for the Lakers and maybe by mid February he is in Toronto if he doesn't step up to the call.
Regarding Pau, as you know, that's what he does within the Spanish National Team with quite remarkable results.

Congrats from Vigo and Go Lakers.

@ Brotha LTLF

"But if the possibility came up, I'd give up Bynum for Deron Williams. Would you?"
Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | January 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM

In a heart beat. But we must get a decent starter or backup Center workhorse. Can you conjure up a scenario sir with a big of choice?

"But if the possibility came up, I'd give up Bynum for Deron Williams. Would you?"

That depends; what book is Williams reading?


I think we need a 6' stopper (not a scorer) to play 18 m and chase pg's like a dobermann ¿ Remember Tyronne Lou over Iverson in 01?

We cannot stop Parker or Rondo for good. But we can find a fast tough pg that annoy them consistenly for a quarter and a half and let them breathless for Fish or Farmar to take over. There are a few guys on the league with these skills and they don't cost 9 M$ per year plus luxury tax.
Right now small and fast pg's are playing us like a puppet.

You guys are crazy. Everyone knows that you NEVER trade a big for a small. I mean, come on... Remember when we traded Vlade for Kobe? Well, you've seen how THAT worked out. Damn, I miss Vlade...

(Just messin' with you, LT!)

Go Lake Show!

Guys a post will be up in a few minutes

Mark G (fka Mark),

>>know plenty of people that didn't attend that I'd consider intellectuals in my family.

Agree with you here..

>>At the opposite end of the spectrum, Dubya went to Yale.
>>It didn't do him any good.

And who are you to be a judge of it? Last time I checked he graduated from one of the best business school, and while being managing partner of Houston football team sold it, in the process making prety good amount of money. So business education played some part in it, don't you think so?

And some times intelectuals done more evil than good, if you check history. Check great article "Intellectuals and society" written by Thomas Sowell at

"But if the possibility came up, I'd give up Bynum for Deron Williams. Would you?"
- LongTimeLakerFan

Yeah, LTLF, I would. Though I've been against the incessant trade talk, this is one of the very few that would get my attention, and would set us up for years with absolutely no weaknesses at any position. Also, your entire post was a brilliant observation about the possible consequences of the next draft and who might become available unexpectedly.

Also, MM, this thread is exactly the type of unique topic that I believe does warrant an extra thread. We're not likely to see it in any mainstream sports article (LAT or otherwise), it will provoke all kinds of diverse comments, and it's a real insider view of the team (Jeannie, Phil). More like this, please.

As for the book suggestions, Phil shows why he's more than just an X's and O's coach. These are brilliant and subtly appropriate selections, for the most part. He's a "rara avis" in the coaching profession: a real thinker, psychologist, and all around Phil-ologist/Phil-osopher. When he finally leaves coaching (with rings on all his fingers and many of his toes), he will leave a void that will not easily be filled. His players, in particular, will know that they have been a part of something very special.

That depends; what book is Williams reading? EX

Another way of saying it, can we stretch Deron Williams' feet and head so that he can reach 7'1" in height? Is he elastic enough to do that?

Wait till LakerTom read this trade proposal, we just started WW III on the blog. LMAO!

>>>Right now small and fast pg's are playing us like a puppet.

And that's why a trade for Hinrich or Devin Harris would be useful. Either of those guys would be a huge upgrade at the PG position on the defensive side of the ball. The big holdup is money of course.

Ironically, another solution to the Lakers' PG defense problem would be the Bynum for Bosh trade, since Bosh defends the pick and roll better than Bynum and is much quicker.

But again, it all comes down to money money money. I'm beginning to lean towards the opinion several people have been stating here that Buss wouldn't want to take on any more long term big money - including guys like Harris or Hinrich. As big a cash cow as the Lakers are, they're still getting close to the line where the team would lose money if they increased salary much more.

And what's more, I think the Lakers mgmt believes that it can win the title this year with their existing roster. And I certainly believe that as well. I think they have at least as good a chance as Cleveland and a better chance than any other team (Boston's clearly through - they just drank Orlando's milkshake the other night). That all assumes that they're healthy of course.

Zaira, props for getting to the link. I follow Jeanie on Twitter too but you beat me to the punch.

Thanks for the feedback, Corner J. My hope is the blog in the past two and a half weeks is the worst that it'll ever be. Not that I think or hope it's bad, but I want it to keep getting better. And as I keep getting into this gig, I'm going to try to keep putting out different ideas.

Thanks again, MM

Also, a new post is up with some Lakers links - MM

Bynum's book should be-"What I am being traded, I can play no defense on any team!"

Heyyyy AXL ROSE, you are Spaniard from Vigo?????? O.K., I agree with you. Pau can "play this game" but I think that will be "BIG TROUBLE" because bynum´s influence inside The Lakers organisation (remember, Jabbar teacher, Jim Buss, maybe Phil too..... Hmmmmmm, Pau should pay attention AXL estas son tierras movedizas y Pau no es un líder del equipo para estas historias (Kobe, Fisher, quizá....)

CURIOUS if.............. any of these players have the capacity and aptitude to digest these books?

Are we not dealing with jocks and not intellectuals? Also, some who never attended college.


Curious George

Posted by: Curious George | January 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Well, apparently someone thinks that being a jock and being an intellectual are mutually exclusive. Tsk Tsk. There are plenty of intellectually minded athletes, including *gasp* Basketball. One example - Adonal Foyal.

Before you start with the usual stereotyping, you might want to actually talk to the athletes first. Unless, of course, you want the rest of the blog to consider you as someone with the same amount of intellectual capacity of the Laker team members WITHOUT the athletic ability.

The Outlaw -

Do you mind if I ask where you do/did teach? I don't really know much about literature, and I enjoy science fiction, so I wanted to know if you have a few good authors to recommend to me.

Thanks! :-)

Wow.....2666 is a little long for an eight game road trip...even if you're reading it in Spanish.


This is outright stereotyping. I can think of a few NBA players who have shown better than average intellect: Adm. David Robinson, Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sen. Bill Bradley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and former med-school student Pau Gasol just to name a few. In fact, Pau had a blog last season in the LA Times and he frequently gave us the titles of what he was reading. I made a summer reading list from his titles and believe me, there wasn't a "light weight' among them (Steig Larsson, Ryszard Kapuscinski and Ken Follet were some of the authors Pau recommended). While erudition and athletics are not normally linked together, they are not mutually exclusive either.

If a player loses his book in a card game does he still have to read it?

@ LAL_Fan, Who am I to judge? I'm a US citizen, so I think have every right to judge, and as a Pres, I'd have to say he was one of the worst ever.
But my point wasn't that only intellectuals should be allowed to be leaders, only that a college education, even from an elite institution, is no guarantee of competency.

for a basketball coach, mr. phil does pretty good

such appropriate (seemingly) choices

che for adam

monkey wrench gang for luke

kind of preaching to the choir

how about some trillin about his father or wife (a good one for phil himself)

and for non readers, the irresistible three musketeers

it worked with my sons

LAL fan:

anybody who thinks the second worst president of all time, W, got an education or knew anything is, no doubt, zero for two.

quit dreaming just because you voted that way.

best book on W was by Ms. Kelly -- read what W's roommates said about him:

drunk most of the time and zero curiosity

and while Kerry was in Vietnam getting shot at, W, was still drunk or playing golf and then he has the nerve to pull the swift boat big lie, which people like you believed, because you needed to

it's about as low as this country has ever sunk and I bet Jackson and Walton and most everyone on the team, knows it

last time I looked W spent a trillion dollars of our money on destroying a country because it had weapons of mass destruction, oh, which it didn't really have

and you think W has brains, an education, character?!!!!!!

you are definitely DOL

That's right folks, that Ivy League diploma was fully bought and paid for with good Texas petro dollars coming from Dad's deep wallet. Hence he graduated with a C average. Yale people was smart enough not to bestow an A on somebody who is clearly quite dense because that would be way too obvious. Just Google the word "Bushism" and find out how a real intellectual does NOT speak that way!

Thomas Sowell? pullleeeze, you're talking about a black version of Rush Limbaugh, aka Mr. Ditto-head here...

As for basketball, yep I'd trade Bynum for Deron William in a heartbeat too. Unfortunately it's not always just about basketball, it's also about business and I doubt Dr. Buss is in the mood of overpaying for a championship.

The Lakers as they are right now, still have more talents than anyone else to win it all. The problem is thus only:

1) Motivation: are they still hungry and/or determined enough for a repeat?
2) Coaching: is blind loyalty going to over-rule sensibility and logic by letting Derek Fisher play more prominent role than Shannon Brown/Jordan Farmar to the point that he actually hurts his team's chance?

Bone Head Bynum took 5 shots and Kobe 31

Instead of the MVP Chant or Beat LA, All together now,

Kobe doesn't read Phil's books. Pau should read Bill Russell's book on pivot play then teach Andrew. They made Shaq look about 25.

"The Monkey Wrench Gang" for Luke?

Is he suggesting that Luke Walton should form a second career as an eco-terrorist after basketball OR is he trying to communicate to Luke Walton the valiance of sabotoging "the man"?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


anybody else think it's weird phil gave kobe a book about rape? is he messing with him? just sayin.



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