The Zen Master Calls It A Career

Phil Jackson is a name that catches your attention. He was considered by a lot of people to be the best coach to ever do it in NBA basketball. Some say that he only won because of the great talent of his team, but he was a coach that was much more than just his talented players.

Lexi Knoch, an avid Lakers fan, explains what her feelings are on Phil Jackson and his legacy as a coach of players and a teacher of men and his impact.

Here's what Lexi said:

"I'm gonna miss you Phil, and this is truly the end of an era. Your era. 

The best coach of all time in any sport, and I challenge anyone to disagree. Sure, he had great players, but he taught them how to be teammates. This is the man that taught teams how to mediate, look inside themselves on and off the court and taught them that it wasn't always about basketball, it was about themselves. He taught Kobe how to grow up and be a facilitator, not just a scorer. He believed in a 17 year old 7 foot kid named Andrew Bynum that barely played his senior year of high school. He took a chance on one of the craziest men in the league, Ron Artest. Just by sitting on the bench, with his hands folded and a slight smile on his face, he exuded leadership, and how being quiet and calm can get you so much further in life. He understood that people are different, and each player needed to be treated differently. He could read his players so well, because he knew them as people, not as basketball players. "

Now Phil Jackson didn't just coach the Lakers and Kobe, but he led Shaq, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen to glory. The thing that people miss is that these players all had individual success, but they never won anything until Phil stepped in.

Michael was a supremely talented player who would do it all by himself rather than using his teammates. Enter Phil Jackson. Under Phil's tutelage, Michael became a more trusting teammate, allowing Scottie Pippen to blossom into the star he became. He learned how to push his teammates to the finish line instead of trying to do it all himself.

Shaq had never won anything in the NBA and he was floundering in Los Angeles with Kobe. Insert Phil Jackson and he somehow gets these two megastars to get on the same page and learn that they need each other to win. He also taught them that leadership is the key to a good team.

Now I will say that the claim of Phil Jackson being the best coach in any sport is questionable, but he is definitely in the conversation. After all, no one coach can say they won championships without a great player. Look at what Celtic great Red Auerbach did with C Bill Russell. Look at what Vince Lombardi did with star QB Bart Starr.

Great players are great before coaches, but the players don't become legends without great leadership. Jackson was the perfect picture of great leadership and basketball will miss him. Some people discredit his greatness as a coach, but his leadership was undeniable. His quiet strength was admired by many.

8 Responses

  1. Camille

    It’s always debatable calling someone or something “the best,” due to the fact that there are so many other options. Yet like this article was getting at, when it comes to coaching Phil Jackson is a clear cut choice for that title.
    I was really hoping he could get another 3peat on his way out but him walking away from basketball with 13 rings is still amazing. I’ll miss seeing him on the sidelines.

    • He actually only won 11 rings as a coach. Six with Bulls and five with LA.

  2. Camille

    I wasn’t talking about just his coaching rings. I was including the 2 he won as a player.

    • True. He did win some rings with the Knicks back in the day as a player.

  3. Nice read! truley great coach. and their are tons of coachs that have had awesome talent and lost somemany would could be here for days, in all of sports! it’s easy to remember Phil’s teams because he won! Bottom line winning a championship in the 4 major sports is VERY HARD no matter what! Phil did countless times!

  4. BiGTooT

    Phil is the best to ever do it anyone to think otherwise has issues, the man was a master of getting players to gel and believe in one another..

  5. Lee Love

    Phil won titles as a player, as a coach on the old CBA and we all know about his NBA career. He’s the only man to accomplish that. He taught his players things way beyond sports and for that stands alone in his era. It is truly the end of an era.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb and say we will never see another coach like him in our lifetime.

  6. […] post is courtesy of @Sports_R_Me_MP3 of The Everyday Man’s Sports Blog.  Here are his thoughts on Phil Jackson leaving the […]

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