KOBE COACH CALLS FOUL

Shaquille O'Neal isn't the only person with an ax to grind with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Later this month former Lakers coach Phil Jackson will add his two cents in "The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul." In diarylike fashion, Jackson details Bryant's bad behavior, dishing on Bryant's feuding with O'Neal and the star's alleged egomaniacal demands. Jackson also says he had to see a therapist to cope with Bryant. "Phil had been dealing with a lot of drama with Kobe since the first day he began to coach [him]," says a source in the Lakers front office. "We're talking about a man who coached Dennis Rodman and [Michael] Jordan and [Scottie] Pippen. He thought he'd seen everything. And then he met Kobe."

How's Bryant taking the criticism? Those close to him say he's unfazed. "He's been through so much and come out ahead," says a friend. "He isn't going to let the talk get into his head. He figures that if the last few months didn't break him, why should this?" Bryant dismissed the book last week, telling reporters that the former coach was "just trying to sell books." Jackson's publisher, Penguin Press, says Jackson isn't doing interviews until the book is published.

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