CONGRATS! Well freakin’ deserved.
L.A. Times: Lakers coach says of being called the luckiest coach that’s ever been in the NBA: “I probably have to agree with that.
Phil Jackson learned to coach from Red Holzman, and he practiced the craft on superstars like Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
“I’ve had people say that I’m the luckiest coach that’s ever been in the NBA. I probably have to agree with that,” Jackson said Friday at the Basketball Hall of Fame’s induction weekend. “I’ve been in the right spots at the right time.”
Jackson won nine NBA championships as a coach — tying Red Auerbach for the record — and one more as a player. But it was with the New York Knicks in their championship season of 1969-70, when Jackson was recovering from spinal fusion surgery, that he found his future calling.
Soaking up knowledge from his Hall of Fame mentor, Jackson developed the approach that allowed him to integrate lesser talents into a team with stars like Jordan and O’Neal.
“He treated the superstars and the role players in very much the same manner,” said the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach, who was using a cane because of offseason surgery to replace his left hip. “Everybody has to be treated with respect. But everybody has to be treated as individuals.”