Throughout Phil Jackson's tenure as coach of the Lakers, he has been known to provide his players with inspirational books on an array of topics. Usually, the books deal with something going on in the player's life and relate to the individual.
But we know how busy professional athletes can be. So rather than recommending books, we're going to give out some songs for certain players to take a listen to. Maybe these tunes will help them solve a problem or simply come to a realization.
Without further ado, let's check out the playlist.
For the Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett: "When You're Gone" by Avril Lavigne
When you walk away, I count the steps that you take
Do you see how much I need you right now?
I miss you
Since losing Garnett to injury in late February, the Celtics have gone 6-7, including 1-4 in their last five, and are now only one game ahead of the third-seed Orlando Magic in the East. They've looked very beatable and have lost to the Bucks, Clippers, and Bulls.
Clearly, the Celtics see how much they need Kevin right now. Saying that they "miss him" is definitely an understatement.
Another suggestion for the Celtics and KG: "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson
Other players who should bump this: the Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, the Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum, and the Philadelphia Sixers' Elton Brand
For the Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady: "Hurt" by T.I. and Busta Rhymes
Ain't a damn thang change
I still keep that thang right up under my shirt
Better tell 'em I ain't playin'
Because it's all fun and games until somebody get hurt
Sure, that second line doesn't make sense, but everything else describes McGrady's injury woes perfectly.
Tracy is one of the top players in the league when healthy, but each season "ain't a damn thing change" because after a brief stint, he always goes down, and everyone knows he "ain't playin" for awhile.
Check out this song, T-Mac, it seems as if it were written for you.
Another suggestion for McGrady: "You Will Always Hurt" by Waterdeep
Other players who should bump this: the Portland Trail Blazers' Greg Oden, the Miami Heat's Jermaine O'Neal, the Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas, and (in the past) the Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill
From the L.A. Clippers' Baron Davis to the Philadelphia 76ers' Elton Brand: "Heartless" by Kanye West
How could you be so heartless?
How could you be so, cold as the winter wind when it breeze, yo
Just remember that you talkin' to me though
You need to watch the way you talkin' to me, yo
I mean after all the things that we've been through
I mean after all the things we got into
Hey yo, I know of some things that you ain't told me
Hey yo, I did some things but that's the old me
But in the end it's still so lonely
This past offseason, Baron Davis and Elton Brand were supposed to form a dynamic duo in Los Angeles. The Clippers were going to have a big man-guard duo of their own in the Staples Center, and things were looking great. That is, until Brand fled for Philly when negotiations with the Clips broke down.
This left Davis on a below-average team with a tiny fan base in a city dominated by the Lakers.
The two former friends, emphasis on former, have not talked since the offseason, and these lyrics perfectly describe Baron's pain.
Another suggestion for this situation: "Where'd You Go?" by Fort Minor
Other players who might send this one out: the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (to the Utah Jazz's Carlos Boozer)
For the Detroit Pistons' Allen Iverson: "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
Iverson used to "rule the (basketball) world," as the song says. But lately, he hasn't had any Playoff success, and teams have found it harder and harder to win with him on their team.
The Nuggets dealt him after failing to advance past the first round every season since they acquired him from Philadelphia. The Pistons picked up the veteran guard and have been struggling since; they often play better with Iverson not in the lineup.
Recently, rumors have surfaced that Detroit could have A.I. shut it down for the season in a classic "addition by subtraction" move. He no longer "feels the fear in his enemy's eyes" and the "walls are (quickly) closing" on the Answer.
Another suggestion for A.I.: "Life Is Not What It Used To Be" by Bruce Springsteen
Other players who should take a listen: retired star Alonzo Mourning, the New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter, and the Boston Celtics' Stephon Marbury
For the Phoenix Suns' Jason Richardson: "I'm So Paid" by Akon, Lil Wayne, and Young Jeezy
I get it in til the sun rise
Doing 90 in a 65
Windows rolled down screamin out
Hey-ey-ey I'm so paid!
While Jason Richardson isn't making the most money in the NBA, these lyrics are perfect for him.
Not only is he a Sun, but he has recently had some problems speeding; "90 in a 65" is pretty fast, but that's nothing for Richardson. He was recently pulled over going 90 in a 35 with his three-year-old son unrestrained in the vehicle.
That's right, 55 miles per hour over the speed limit. Take that, Akon!
Another suggestion for J-Rich: "Speedin'" by Rick Ross and R. Kelly
Other players who should take a listen: LeBron James (for monetary and speeding ticket reasons)
Bleacher Report, using their power as a major sports media outlet, will be sending iPods with these songs already loaded to each player mentioned in the article. Thanks, Zander!
Part Two of this article will be released in the next few days.