In depth: Phil Jackson, Part 1

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LNS HOF Bronze
Age: 32
Posts: 7071
Location: Pasadena, CA
votes: 51


The year was 1987.

In the city of Chicago there was a buzz surrounding a budding superstar named Michael Jordan. He had all the tools and talent to be the best player in the league, but had so far floundered in the NBA playoffs. It was around that time when one of the most remarkably uninteresting hires was made.

The Chicago Bulls hired a 43 year-old, former player, as an assistant to help the often overwhelmed head coach, Doug Collins. The assistant had no previous NBA coaching experience. In fact, his last coaching job had been in a semi-professional league in Puerto Rico. At that time, nobody could have imagined how this assistant coach from Montana would re-write the history books, and transform basketball as we know it.

To truly understand Phil Jackson is almost impossible.

Constant smirks and timely media jabs are expected from Jackson these days, but back in 1987 he was nothing more than a man looking for a chance to make a name for himself. After being hired by the Bulls, Jackson bided his time with Collins at the helm. Around this time he met the man that would change his career.

Tex Winter may be the most influential person the basketball world has never heard of. Winter’s so-called ‘triangle offense’ intrigued Jackson, and for good reason. While nobody knew it at the time, this fateful meeting and subsequent teaming up of these two brilliant minds would forever change the NBA.

About the author: Daniel Buerge grew up in Portland, Oregon, but has been a lifelong Lakers fan. After being introduced to the Lakers at a young age from his Californian father, he was immediately entranced. The competition of professional sports has always been something that fascinates him, and the Lakers represent the pinnacle of sports competition. Daniel has been able to express his interest in the Lakers through his blog at There he regularly submits editorials and news articles concerning the Lakers and the rest of the NBA. While the rest of the world enjoys sports for entertainment, Daniel views it as a way of life, and has grown to understand and greatly appreciate the small subtleties that most people overlook. He will continue to connect to the readers in this blog through his outspoken opinions and desire to connect with the public.

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Laker GM
Posts: 3293

votes: 5

Phil's a legend and I can't wait to see the day he has the most rings of any coach of any sports ever, hopefully this will be the year

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