"Basically I was planning to ask Michael, who had won his third scoring title in a row the previous season, to reduce the number of shots he took so that other members of the team could get more involved in the offense."

"I knew this would be a challenge for him: Michael was only the second player to win both a scoring title and the league MVP award in the same year, the first being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971."

"I told him that I was planning to implement the triangle and, as a result, he probably wouldn’t be able to win another scoring title."

"'You’ve got to share the spotlight with your teammates,' I said, 'because if you don’t, they won’t grow.'"

"'Okay, I guess I could average thirty-two points,' he said. 'That’s eight points a quarter. Nobody else is going to do that.'"

"'Well, when you put it that way, maybe you can win the title,' I said. 'But how about scoring a few more of those points at the end of the game?'"

"Looking back, Michael says that he liked this approach because it 'allowed me to be the person I needed to be.' Sometimes I would tell him that he needed to be aggressive and set the tone for the team."

"Other times I’d say, 'Why don’t you try to get Scottie going so that the defenders will go after him and then you can attack?'"

"In general, I tried to give Michael room to figure out how to integrate his personal ambitions with those of the team. 'Phil knew that winning the scoring title was important to me,"'

"Michael says now, 'but I wanted to do it in a way that didn’t take away from what the team was doing.'"