Jackson, Phil

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Jackson, Phil

Phil Jackson (Philip Douglas Jackson), 1945–, American basketball player and coach, b. Deer Lodge, Mont. Jackson was an All-American at the Univ. of North Dakota. Drafted by the New York Knicks in 1967, he was a forward and a superb defensive player, playing on two championship teams (1970, 1973) and remaining with the team until 1980. He then entered coaching, proved to be extremely talented, and rose to become (1989) head coach of the Chicago Bulls. Known for his quiet style, natty courtside attire, philosophical bent, Zen beliefs, and devotion to the triangle offense, he was extremely successful at motivating and stimulating teamwork among disparate players. Jackson coached the Bulls during the team's glory days, directing such superstars as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and leading his team to six National Basketball Association (NBA) championships (1991–93, 1996–98). In 1999 he took over as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. There, working with Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and others, he won three consecutive (2000–2002) NBA championships. He stepped down as Lakers coach in 2004 but the following year he agreed to return; he retired in 2011. The Lakers were NBA champions again in 2009 and 2010, giving Jackson the record for most NBA titles (11) for a coach. In 2014 he became president of the Knicks. Jackson's books include the autobiography Maverick (1975), Sacred Hoops (1995, with H. Delehanty), More than a Game (2001), and Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success (2013, with H. Delehanty).

See D. Whitaker, ed., The Gospel According to Phil (1997) and R. Lazenby, Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey (2001).

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