WHETHER THEIR ACCOMMODATING attitudes represent a lasting peace or a temporary cease-fire, Jim Buss, in particular, has plenty of incentive to make the relationship work: his own self-imposed deadline.
Game Carl Soderberg Jersey During the chaotic 2013-14 season, Jim made a surprising promise at a meeting with his five siblings. It had been a year since their father’s death. Kobe Bryant had suffered two consecutive season-ending injuries. Coach Mike D’Antoni was still trying to coax as much as he could out of the talent the Lakers had left after Howard’s free-agent defection and Pau Gasol’s disillusionment. There was tremendous external pressure on Jim and Jeanie to bring back former coach Phil Jackson, who was on the verge of leaving the franchise for good to join the New York Knicks.
But it was just one year into a plan the Buss kids knew their father had badly wanted to work. It was too soon to even judge how it was working. So Jim asked for more time to get the franchise headed back in the right direction.
“Visualizing is so huge,” Scott Brooks says. “My high school coach taught me that a long time ago.”
Still, he could shoot with the best of ’em. By his senior year at UC-Irvine, Brooks shot 42 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the charity stripe. Brooks owes much of his shooting success to a homework assignment given to him by Bill Stricker, his high school coach.
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The task? Train his brain every night before bed. Don’t count sheep. Count swishes.
“Visualizing is so huge,” Brooks says. “My high school coach taught me that a long time ago. I used to visualize making free throws every night.”
At first, young Scott was skeptical of the concept of mental imagery. Really, this was going to be the trick? But then the coach told him a story, a tale that Brooks loves to retell to this day.