Today marks the birthday of the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson. It can be said that he is, without a doubt, the best coach in the history of the game and a record 11 rings as a coach is my proof. His philosophies are based on connecting with your spiritual self, having the players meditate so they can also attain a mindset that keeps them calm in close games or big games, like a Game 7 (I bet the Celtics wished they had Phil as the coach for the last 5 minutes of Game 7). He huddles the team in the locker room to pray, another one of his philosophies of connecting with the spiritual world.
He is known for playing mind games with the opponent, mainly in the Playoffs as he did with Kevin Durant and Steve Nash. He gets into the heads of the opponent to throw their game off and although it can lead to fines, the end result doesn’t disappoint. He has been known as the most vocal coach in the playoffs, perhaps receiving the most fines in the NBA among the coaches, during the Playoffs.
Phil has been coach of NBA legends, future legends… and potential legends, i.e. Dennis Rodman. He began his head coaching career in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls in 1989, promoted up from assistant coach. This was a move the Bulls wished they could’ve made earlier as Phil led the Bulls to 6 championships in 9 years, all 6 championships coming in two sets of three-peats (he also has 2 championships as a player with the Knicks, a crowd favorite at Madison Square Garden).
After some conflict with the Bulls, he left and found himself as the coach of the Lakers, whom he helped win (so far) 5 championships, leading a Kobe-Shaq duo to a three-peat (despite the duo’s off court drama) and then leading a Kobe-Pau duo to a repeat (and potential three-peat).
Sadly, this is his final year coaching so lets make it one to remember. Three cheers for Phil!