Some interesting comments from former NBA basketball player Alonzo Mourning about how Kobe Bryant has taken over as the coach of the team. Here is a snippet:

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant(notes) has developed such a floor presence that Alonzo Mourning(notes) can’t figure out what exactly it is Lakers coach Phil Jackson is doing on the bench.

"To tell you the truth, Phil doesn’t have to do anything but call time outs," said Mourning, the former NBA star who helped lead the Miami Heat to the 2006 championship and twice was the league’s defensive player of the year.

"Kobe is the facilitator. He is the one driving the mission of this particular team right now," Mourning said. "The communication level he has with his teammates out there, you can just see it."

"I think Phil is just showing up, to tell you the truth, and Kobe is doing all the work to make this team successful."
Obviously Mourning is guilty of hyperbole as Phil Jackson is doing a lot more than just calling time outs. But Mourning's point is well taken. I wrote earlier how I saw Kobe the coach out there. He's matured to see the court from a coach's perspective, and more importantly he's an excellent communicator which is by far the most crucial attribute to be successful in coaching.

I acknowledge that some coaches do it for the power, the same narcissistic selfishness that is the source of the tyranny in this world -- those coaches would feel threatened by Kobe's hegemony. However, I don't think Jackson sees it that way either, I don't think Kobe's assertiveness does anything to diminish what Jackson has accomplished should the Lakers go on to win the Championship. As I wrote, for coaches who still have that fundamental altruistic motive to mold young minds, there's nothing more satisfying to see their players mature to the point where they figure it out for themselves.