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Everything Zen for Kobe, Phil so far

Updated: November 4, 2005, 3:14 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

DENVER -- Never before has Phil Jackson launched a season with a starting guard named Smush.

Never before has Jackson's Opening Night preparations involved serious plotting to find an entrée into the game for an 18-year-old center.

Even Jackson admits that never before has he coached a team this thin, this green, this dependant on the nine-ringed, modern-day Red Auerbach to stand up and bark at such needy players.

Scanning through all of the above, from a baseline seat mere ...

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