I love a lot of people win time, but I understand how something like that can be personal to you because it’s your family. Was it personal to you?
I’m in for a struggle because I think John C. Riley captured a lot from my dad in his performance. You know, I miss my dad. So, revisiting some of those beautiful memories, I have to say, has been nice to me. But, you know: The schedule was completely wrong with my grandmother and stuff like that. I felt like I was watching a TV show, and I wasn’t watching my life.
You talked about your brothers: Is there still tension in the family after what happened? while watching legacyLooks like there’s still a little beef on the table. You mentioned that things are improving, so how are things going with the rehabilitation of the family?
really good. This document allowed for a lot of healing, as everyone was able to say their essay. When my dad passed away, the Lakers were probably worth between $1.5 billion, and you know, we haven’t yet sold the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. And now, Forbes’ valuation of our team is over $5 billion.
In the 10 years, I think they would say I’ve been a good steward of the brand. You have protected the shareholders. We won the championship and now we are tied with the Celtics in terms of titles. So: I think they’ll say I’m the right person for the job and that’s what my dad meant.
When you spend your whole life with one team, you have a lot of stories. What is your favorite story?
[laughs] You mean the players or…?
Whatever the first thing was, it just popped into your mind there.
You know, I talk a lot about Phil Jackson. When my dad hired him, I kind of rolled my eyes, like why are we going to bring him this is the man in it. It appears to be high maintenance. Then, of course, we started a relationship that lasted 17 years. He was famous for giving players books. During the first long road trip of the season, he would give them a book. And as you know, a lot of guys throw them in their closet or make fun of it in the media.
And I finally told him, “I don’t understand. Why do you keep doing that? They don’t read it.”
He says, “Jenny: It’s not about them reading at the time. This book might be on their shelf for 10 years, but they will someday. And they’ll get the message when they’re ready for what I’ve been trying to share with them.” It’s little things like that…the grit and intent of what this game can mean to the people involved.
I’m just thinking about Kobe, again. A few years ago, he called Phil. After his retirement, he started coaching his daughter’s basketball team. He taught them the crime of the triangle. And he called an elephant in Montana and said, “Can you give me more ideas for books?” This, that, I really think Kobe will one day be a great coach in the NBA. And Phil kept feeding him information, planting those thoughts in his head. This is a kind of gift…
Obviously, the Lakers fans are crazy…
When you win a lot, and hang a lot of banners, it gives people the right to believe that winning can last forever. For you, you used to have the luxury of seeing it all, and now you’re coming out of one turbulent season and heading into another: What makes you stand still in difficult moments?
Elephant [Jackson] He will always say, “Every year there is a path to the championship.” Sometimes it can be quite daunting [laughs] Or through a rainforest! But you always have to see that there is success at the end of the journey as you continue down this path. Every step you take brings you closer to it. You cannot win every year, but every year you must have an open mind and an open heart, believing that you Can go there.