We probably won't know who has been actually coaching the Lakers this series until Phil's next book is published.
Right now the best we can do is offer congrats to Coach Phil & Coach Kobe... it's very confusing at times who is in charge around here, especially the way Kobe has been playing.
Sometimes he's working his teammates into the game, sometimes taking on the Magic all by himself and whatever -- usually a surprise to Phil which way it's going to go.
what has it been like coaching a headstrong player like Kobe, who doesn't mind grabbing the big moment with an eye on doing it all by himself?
The way it looks to so many others, and apparently Mourning as well, "Phil doesn't have to do anything but call timeouts. Kobe is the facilitator. He is the one driving the mission of this particular team right now."
It makes you wonder if there's any reason to give Phil a ring when this thing is over, or is that really the genius in coaching the Lakers, allowing Kobe to act at times as if he is in command?
On the verge of being sized for yet another ring, Phil obviously has a knack for working with headstrong, gifted athletes, and have you noticed the softening in Kobe's demeanor the last few games? It has been striking.
It's no longer Kobe, the angry, determined competitor out to win it all by himself, but now the basketball player coming across as almost human like everyone else in a Lakers uniform.
No question he's different now from where he was when this series started, history suggesting it's probably the Zen Master at work again -- his calmness wearing off on others, and at the same time making it almost appear as if he's doing nothing.
And no one does nothing better than Phil.
Winning is a lot easier when your opponent misses 2 free throws with 11 seconds to go
not lording over them or whipping them into shape, but molding situations so that THEY figure out, on their own
he's also had arguably the best assistant coach at his side -- tex winter, inventor of the triangle offense...