The Lakers entered the U.S. Airways Centre in Phoenix on Friday, with a game against the rivaled Suns. A highly anticipated Western Conference Finals rematch. However, something was left out. The Zen Master was entering the game with 1,099 career head-coaching wins.
The Lakers and Suns battled back and forth in the first half, with neither team building a comfortable lead. However, the Lakers pulled away in the 2nd half to take the victory, giving Phil his 1,100th career win as a head coach, becoming the fast coach to do so. It wasn’t highlighted, or mentioned after the game but there’s no ignoring this milestone, Phil deserves all the respect we give him.
If you don’t know anything about Phil, let me “Phil” you in. Firstly, he likes to win championships in 3-peats and the quest right now is for Phil to earn his fourth 3-peat, a milestone no coach has ever reached. Nothing is impossible for Phil, as he handled egos in the locker room (i.e. Dennis Rodman) and disciplined those players, resulting in championships.
Phil also owns the Lakers record for most playoff wins, passing then record holder Pat Riley. He has 11 championships as a head coach (6 with Bulls, 5 with Lakers) and 2 as a player with the New York Knicks. He broke the tie with Celtics’ Red Auerbach 2 seasons ago, by winning a record 10th championship and further solidified his record by beating the Celtics themselves in Game 7, earning his 11th ring as a coach.
This is a great accomplishment for Phil. He has one more milestone, and that’s to get this 3-peat!