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Phil Jackson uses ‘True Grit’ to inspire the Lakers

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Every season, Lakers coach Phil Jackson intersperses film clips into his team's game tape to get them revved up to take on the playoff competition. In the past, he's used "Gladiator" and other movies about overcoming odds to accomplish seemingly impossible goals.

This year is no different, with Jackson picking the Coen Brothers' 2010 hit "True Grit" to inspire the team. Kevin Ding has more for the The Orange County Register:

Considering it is Jackson's postseason custom to edit movie footage into scouting videos, he obviously could've gone with "Rocky II" — but Jackson has been using the Coen Brothers' 2010 take on the classic "True Grit."

Jackson succeeded last season with Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" footage, conveying to the finesse Lakers that the title would have to come via force. And there's plenty thematically from "True Grit" to remind the Lakers and Kobe Bryant that even the most self-assured and fierce individual must be open to — and be provided with — the proper tough-minded help to survive a long journey.

That "Inglourious Basterds" choice is a little bizarre considering it's a movie about killing Hitler and Jackson's typical Fuhrer stand-in Rick Adelman wasn't in the 2010 playoffs. But hey, I'm not the Zen Master, so what do I know?

On the surface, "True Grit" seems like a great choice -- it's a story of a group of people teaming up to catch a killer in the name of justice and revenge. On the other hand, it's also a film about how single-minded determination is rarely completely fulfilling, and that a moment of triumph can quickly be undercut by disaster. Sometimes, right when you've accomplished your goal, you fall in a pit.

Then again, if the clips work the clips work. It's just that I feel like Phil could have picked a better film from this past year. "The King's Speech," for instance, is as inspiring as anything in "True Grit," albeit less gun crazy. "The Social Network" is about a genius with poor social skills who bulldozes everyone on his way to success, so it'd likely resonate with Kobe Bryant. Pau Gasol has already been discussed in terms of "Black Swan." "Disaster Movie," while from 2008, features a Kardashian sister.

There are endless possibilities. The best choices only require a little imagination.

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