Phil Jackson

Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson (born September 17, 1945) is an American professional basketball executive, former coach and former player, currently serving as president of the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA, Jackson was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 until 1998, during which Chicago won six NBA championships. His next team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won five championships from 2000 until 2010. In total, Jackson has won 11 NBA titles as a coach, surpassing the previous record of nine set by Red Auerbach. He also won two championships as a player with the Knicks in 1970 and 1973, and holds the NBA record for the most combined championships (13) as a player and a head coach. He also has the highest winning percentage of any NBA coach (.704).

Jackson is known for his use of Tex Winter's triangle offense as well as a holistic approach to coaching that is influenced by Eastern philosophy, earning him the nickname "Zen Master". Jackson cites Robert Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of the major guiding forces in his life. He also applies Native American spiritual practices as documented in his book Sacred Hoops. He is the author of several candid books about his teams and his basketball strategies. Jackson is also a recipient of the state of North Dakota's Roughrider Award. In 2007, Jackson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996, as part of celebrations for the National Basketball Association's 50th anniversary, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history. He retired from coaching in 2011 before joining the Knicks as an executive in March 2014.

By Dean Hanley

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