One of the all-time greatest coaches in NBA history in Phil Jackson sat down for a very rare and candid interview yesterday to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers and their bizarre yet destined season. Here is the 5 minute interview,

We all know the X's and O's behind all those rings is Tex Winter and the triangle offense (and Winter's unique head/asst coach relationship with Jackson which is a whole other topic), but what has amazed me in all these 30 years of watching Phil Jackson has been his ability to negotiate and mediate between all the different egos.

Going back to even the early Jordan years, getting Scottie Pippen to buy in and sacrifice himself while managing the swelling mega-stardom of Michael Jordan. Then in the Jordan returns era, re-integrating him back into the team and balancing that tightrope of personalities.

Then it was the Shaq and Kobe era. The growing feud between the 2 and managing to hold it together just long enough for 3 championships. Then it was the Kobe rape case and keeping the team focused while introducing hall-of-famers in Gary Payton and Karl Malone.

Finally, the latest Kobe saga in the summer, mediating between a disenfranchised Kobe and management, finding a middle ground and re-integrating Kobe back into the team after he basically turned his back on the Lakers. And doing so without hurting Kobe or the other players. All this while at the same time helping the young talent like Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar mature.

Now, most people think that the NBA is far different than say college or high school. But I beg to differ. Kids nowadays are much smarter than when I was in school. Why do you think kids transfer schools now like its going out of style? And then there is the whole issue of parents and alumni groups which are probably just as if not more difficult to work with than NBA general managers.

Knowing the many personalities on your team and managing their expectations is everything. Skills like mediation, negotiation, and building team chemistry have never been as important as they are now. As much as I like old school coaches like Bobby Knight, gone are the days where you could just yell in a kid's face for 10 minutes and expect them to say "yes sir". You can't resolve conflict with more conflict, it simply doesn't work. You have to mediate and understand the nature of conflict and initiate dialogue.

Coaching is basically managing a series of ongoing crises every single day. There isn't anyone better at it than Phil Jackson who I bet could fix the middle-east peace process and the health care crisis. The man is a psychological genius.