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It’s refreshing to see a first-time head coach take the “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” approach to his team’s development. I remember when Phil Jackson’s predecessor Del Harris kept drawing up plays for an 18-year old Kobe in the “Airball Game” against the Jazz in the playoffs. I’m sure it was tough for Lakers fans to stomach at the time, but Harris knew that the long-term gains of showing confidence in young Kobe would greatly outweigh the short-term gains of possibly forcing a Game 6 against a superior team.

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