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'Eleven Rings:' Phil Jackson learned how to talk to Metta World Peace

May 16, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Phil Jackson writes a lot about Metta World Peace in his new book.
Phil Jackson writes a lot about Metta World Peace in his new book. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

It took some time for former Lakers' coach Phil Jackson to learn how to communicate with Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest).

"My major concern about Ron was whether he could learn the triangle offense fast enough. Like Dennis Rodman, Ron had a hard time staying focused," writes Jackson in his upcoming memoir, "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success."

World Peace joined the Lakers for the 2009-10 season, ultimately helping the team win the title over the Boston Celtics.

"Why are you always picking on me?" asked World Peace after Jackson gave him some early advice on his shooting style.

"I didn't know I was picking on you," replied Jackson.  "I'm just trying to help you along."

Jackson's assistant Brian Shaw pulled him aside with a warning, "You're walking a dangerous line there, Phil."

Taking Shaw's advice, Jackson learned a different approach to getting through to World Peace.

"After that incident, I realized that the best way to communicate with Ron was to couch everything in a positive way -- not just with the words I used, but with my gestures and facial expressions as well," writes Jackson.  "Eventually, he found out the system and, with the help of Kobe [Bryant] and others, began integrating himself into the team's DNA."

Jackson's memoir, written with Hugh Delehanty for Penguin Press, will be available on May 21.

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Former Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan on the team's challenging season

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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