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Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach

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The Second Greatest Coach of All-Time

  • Sep 13, 2010

I know the headline might sound absurd but I don't believe that more championships = better coach or player. I would have to give to give that title to the late Red Auerbach because not only was he a great coach, but he was also the marketing guy, the GM, and whatever else you could think of for the Boston Celtics. He did it all!

But back to PJ. He's done an incredible job with both the Bulls and the Lakers and really believes in the team concept and proved that a team that functions as a 12-man unit, wins championships. So one really has to credit Jackson for implementing a system in the triangle offense that could potentially upset his star player because in the triangle, Jud Buechler has the same opportunity for shots as Michael Jordan. The system essentially discourages one on one play and focuses on floor spacing and ball movement which actually helps players get more touches of the ball and helps them get into a better rhythm. It will help the players towards the end of the game, when a big shot is needed. It could be anyone, at any time.

I can't think of a better example than game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals that came down to the wire. When the Bulls needed a shot to take the lead, Jackson put the ball into the hands of Jordan, the only player to score in the entire 4th quarter, let him run the ball up the court, makes a pass to Pippen who makes an interior pass to Horace Grant, who kicks it out to a wide open John Paxson who knocks down the shot. 4 out of 5 players touched the ball on that play and based on the defensive rotations, if Danny Ainge of the Suns rotated out to Paxson, the ball could have been quickly reversed to BJ Armstrong, who would have had an open shot in the corner.

17 years later and he's still winning championships. I'm not a Laker fan but I think Laker fans should be extremely grateful to have a coach like Jackson for all these years. He's a basketball genius.

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November 04, 2011
You certainly include a lot of info on how the triangle offense works! Thanks!
More Phil Jackson reviews
Quick Tip by . November 04, 2011
posted in Windy City Secrets
Hey Lakers - Phil Jackson was ours before he was yours! Either way, he was the greatest coach of all time, winning ten titles, revolutionizing basketball offense, and finding subtle ways to get into his players' heads to bring out their best. People try to say Red Auerbach was the greatest, but Auerbach didn't have to deal with today's massive egos and skyrocketing player salaries. He didn't risk losing players to free agency year after year. In his day, the NBA had all of eight teams. So yeah, …
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
A great coach. Some would say it was the talent he had but nine rings say he had a lot to do with it
About the reviewer
Peter Kim ()
I love basketball, exercise, reading, business, movies and occasionally some brainless reality TV shows =P I am more than happy to help anyone out with anything here on Lunch and definitely looking forward … more
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Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson (born September 17, 1945 in Deer Lodge, Montana) is a former American professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His reputation was established as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 through 1998; during his tenure, Chicago won six NBA titles. His next team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won three consecutive NBA titles from 2000-2002. In total, Jackson has won 9 NBA titles as a coach, a record shared with Red Auerbach.

Jackson is known for his use of Tex Winter's triangle offense as well as a holistic approach to coaching that is influenced by Eastern philosophy, earning him the nickname "Zen Master". (Jackson cites Robert Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of the major guiding forces in his life. His fond admiration for the book is the source of his nickname "Zen Master.") He also applies Native American spiritual practices as documented in his book "Sacred Hoops." He is the author of several candid books about his teams and his basketball strategies. Jackson is also a recipient of the state of North Dakota's Roughrider Award. Jackson leads the 2007 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Jackson regularly attempts to alter his appearance so the media cannot use old photos of him for recent news, and, true to his word, as of September 2008, he was no longer ...

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