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With eleven championship rings to his name, Phil Jackson is internationally recognized as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA. Known as a defensive disrupter and a master fouler during his early days as a New York Knick and later celebrated as the “Zen Master” for his inspirational tactics as a leader, Jackson has had a long and storied career marked by constant self-reflection and reinvention. This is the man who led Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to six championships, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers to five; who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame; and who retired in 2011, an official legend—and the most sought-after free-agent coach in history.
As befits a legend, Jackson has written several candid, insightful books about his life and career, but now one of America’s most respected sportswriters turns an unvarnished light on Jackson’s strange and remarkable journey, from his sheltered childhood and adolescence in Montana and North Dakota, through his years playing at Madison Square Garden, to his experiences coaching Jordan, Bryant, and more of the greatest players of our time. New York Times-bestselling author Peter Richmond has written a personal, definitive, revealing biography of a veritable sports genius, and an American classic.
speech at the hundredth annual Western Governors’ Association meeting, Jackson’s bold-faced audience included the likes of New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Montana governor Brian Schweitzer and Colorado governor Bill Ritter: men in charge of the new American fracking West that was slowly destroying Phil Jackson’s ancient Native American homeland. If there were ever a time to deliver a meaningful manifesto, dealing from experiential strength, it was on this day when, despite a few more years
slurs of the Sacramento fans were described in the Los Angeles Times. The account of the playoffs is also from the Los Angeles Times. The reference to Aaron Swartz’s theories comes from the March 11, 2013, story by Larissa MacFarquhar in The New Yorker, “Requiem for a Dream.” Chapter Twenty-Three The depiction of the dissolution of relations between Jerry West and Phil Jackson at the beginning of the 2000–2001 season was obtained from several sources, including the June 17, 2013, Los Angeles
on, 167 as decision tree, 138–39 of Jackson, Phil, 230–31 Madsen’s, Mark, comments on, 250 O’Neal, Shaquille, learning, 230, 236 Tomjanovich, Rudy, scrapping, 265 Tribal community, 79 Trinity Church, 81 The Triple Post Offense (Winter), 143 Tucker, Trent, 148, 175 Turiaf, Ronny, 275–76 Türkoglu, Hedo, 251 2006–07 season, 278 2007–08 season, 279 2008–09 season, 292–93 2009–10 season, 297, 303 Ulster County hospice service, 98 United Center, 188 United States v. Tim Donaghy, 252
in a season and playoffs. “[It’s] a new level for teams to play toward, a new standard for teams to chase,” Jackson said. In other words, he was now atop the heap of history in one stat. One more remained. It belonged to the Bad Red. In the long run, how good was this team? As anyone who ever took Statistics 101 can tell you, there exists a statistical measure to prove any point. You just have to find the right test. So let’s veer away from pure numbers and turn to the expert, eternal NBA
foot—well, no foot, since Shaq had chosen to have toe surgery too close to the beginning of the season, at least in Kobe’s opinion. Phil’s look had changed: no beard, no imperial, no facial hair of any kind (Jeanie preferred it that way). Lean and mean. The trouble was, without the big man at the beginning, the team was way too lean. So in a highly anticipated meeting with the Spurs in the season opener, Kobe decided to revert and take 29 shots, of which he made 9. The Lakers were blown out.