Over the past couple weeks, sports news has been violated by Phil Jackson stories. It all started with Phil Jackson’s comments saying Lebron and his “posse” always want special treatment. Then Jackson took shots at Carmelo Anthony for ball hogging too much in the “magical” triangle offense. Next, the Zen Master grabbed attention by mentioning that he smoked weed for his back pain.
All of this has been exacerbated by people’s responses to Jackson’s comments. Lebron told everybody he was hurt by the posse comment. Carmelo subtweeted Phil like a highschool girl then complained in the media. Most recently, Jay Z put Jackson on blast at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year ceremony for his posse comment.
In summary, Phil Jackson complained about people and got his name in the news. Plus he smoked weed.
This is exactly the kind of stuff that makes me unable to stand Phil Jackson. He assumes that we are all chomping at the bit to hear his opinions because of his success as a coach. But how much respect has Phil earned as a coach? There is no denying his results. Phil Jackson has won a record 11 NBA Championships as a head coach—6 with the Bulls and 5 with the Lakers. However, Phil Jackson has a grand total of zero NBA Championships without a player named Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or Shaquille O’Neal.
Many people are quick to accredit Jackson’s success to his triangle offense. But with Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, or Kobe and Shaq, even I could concoct an offense that would fare well. There is no reason to think that under different coaching these players—some of the greatest of all time—would not win championships. When Michael Jordan is averaging well over 30 points a game in the playoffs, you might as well put a suit and tie on a scarecrow and call it “coach.”
Phil Jackson loves to talk about his ingenious triangle offense. This offseason, Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas claimed that, “If you don’t have Kobe or Shaq or Michael Jordan, the triangle doesn’t work.” Since being appointed President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson has enjoyed incredible amounts of failure. He first hired his former player Derek Fisher, who was familiar with the triangle offense, to coach the team. After Fisher went 40-96 as head coach, Jackson gave the nod to friend and fellow triangle-lover Kurt Rambis. He went 9-19.
That brings us to this season’s coach Jeff Hornacek, who has the Knicks off to their most promising start in years. Despite this success, Phil Jackson expressed anger with how Hornacek doesn’t run the triangle enough (which created yet another Phil Jackson headline). It seems that Phil cares more about seeing his precious offense on the court than he does about actually winning.
For years, Phil Jackson has masqueraded as a basketball genius while riding the coattails of legendary superstars. His insistence on using the triangle offense in New York displays his stubbornness. He still thinks it was his offense that won him all those championships. His pride validates any and every stupid comment he puts out in the media. I would much rather Phil Jackson go zen out in a mountain with his newfound medication than listen to his dilapidated logic.
Like what you read? Subscribe to the website to get Red Seat’s posts straight to your inbox!