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"That one definitely helped me out a lot" - Former Lakers star talks about Phil Jackson's rare strategy to motivate his players

Phil Jackson's unorthodox coaching style came in many forms, which included giving out books to his players to help them better understand what it takes to become a great player.
Phil Jackson and Shannon Brown

Phil Jackson and Shannon Brown

Most NBA coaches want to get the best out of their players, and they have different approaches to getting the job done. However, nothing is more unusual than the style of the legendary Phil Jackson, the only coach able to achieve tremendous success by applying Zen Buddhism in coaching.

Phil helped Shannon become a better player

Having mentored the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, Jackson is widely considered as arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time. His unorthodox coaching style came in many forms, which included giving out books to his players to help them better understand what it takes to become a great player. More often than not, the strategy worked, and former Los Angeles Lakers highflyer Shannon Brown is living proof.

According to Brown, "The Zen Master" had been giving out these "meaningful" books back when he was still coaching the Lakers, and he was a bit surprised when he knew that Jackson was still doing it when he became a high-up in the New York Knicks organization.

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"[Jackson] He was definitely still giving books away, giving guys his knowledge and his memories of things that happened and where we can apply them to the basketball court," the former Laker and Knick said via NY Daily News.

Brown revealed that he also received a book from Jackson, "Dreams from My Father" by former U.S. president Barack Obama, which "definitely helped him a lot."

"That one definitely helped me out a lot. Me being from Chicago and the (former U.S.) President being from the same place," Brown explained. "I think every book that (Jackson has) given out he's read, so he might ask you a question about it or something."

Shannon Brown, NY Daily News

Why does The Zen approach works?

By principle, Jackson's Zen approach implies that "the best way to control people… is to give them a lot of room and encourage them to be mischievous, then watch them." This explains why Phil never had problems dealing with a character like Dennis Rodman.

"The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them. Just watch them without trying to control them. This piece of advice came in handy later when I was dealing with Dennis Rodman," he revealed.

The Shannon Browns, the Dennis Rodmans, we can read and hear stories about how Phil Jackson does his thing, but the truth is, no one can really figure out how "The Zen Master" works his magic.

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