AS HEAD COACH:
POINTS 5,428 (6.7 ppg)
REBOUNDS 3,454 (4.3 rpg)
ASSISTS 898 (1.1 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach
PHILIP DOUGLAS JACKSON (born September 17, 1945) is a former American
professional basketball player, coach and executive in the National
Basketball Association (NBA). Jackson was the head coach of the
Chicago Bulls from 1989 until 1998, during which time
Jackson is known for his use of
Tex Winter 's triangle offense as
well as an 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
* 1 Early life * 2 High school career * 3 College career * 4 NBA playing career
* 5 Coaching career
* 6 Executive career * 7 Awards * 8 Head coaching record * 9 Personal life * 10 Books * 11 See also * 12 References * 13 Further reading * 14 External links
Jackson was born in Deer Lodge, Montana . Both of his parents, Charles and Elisabeth Funk Jackson, were Assemblies of God ministers. Elisabeth came from a long line of German Mennonites before her conversion to the Assemblies of God. In the churches that they served, his father generally preached on Sunday mornings and his mother on Sunday evenings. Eventually, his father became a ministerial supervisor. Phil, his two brothers, and his half-sister grew up in a remote area of Montana in an austere environment, in which no dancing or television was allowed. Jackson did not see his first movie until he was a senior in high school, and went to a dance for the first time in college. Growing up, he assumed he would become a minister.
HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Jackson attended high school in
Williston, North Dakota , where he
played varsity basketball and led the team to two state titles. He
also played football , was a pitcher on the baseball team, and threw
the discus in track and field competitions. The high school now has a
sports complex named after him. His brother Chuck speculated years
later that the three Jackson sons threw themselves passionately into
athletics because it was the only time they were allowed to do what
other children were doing. Jackson attracted the attention of several
baseball scouts. Their notes found their way to future NBA coach Bill
Fitch , who had previously coached baseball, and had been doing some
scouting for the
Bill Fitch successfully recruited Jackson to the University of North
Dakota , where he was a member of the
Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Jackson did well there, helping the Fighting Sioux to third- and
fourth-place finishes in the
NCAA Division II tournament in his
sophomore and junior years (1965 and 1966 ). Both years, they were
beaten by the Southern Illinois Salukis . Jackson's future Knicks
NBA PLAYING CAREER
Jackson circa 1968
In 1967 , Jackson was drafted in the second round by the New York Knicks . While he was a good all-around athlete, with unusually long arms, he was limited offensively and compensated with intelligence and hard work on defense. Jackson eventually established himself as a fan favorite and one of the NBA's leading substitutes, although he had very little playing time. He was a top reserve on the Knicks team that won the NBA title in 1973 . Jackson did not play during New York's 1969–70 championship season due to spinal fusion surgery; however, he authored a book entitled Take It All, a photo diary of the Knicks' 1970 championship run.
Soon after the 1973 title, several key starters retired, creating an
opening for Jackson in the starting lineup. In the 1974–75 NBA
season , Jackson and the
In the following years, he mainly coached in lower-level professional leagues, notably the Continental Basketball Association and Puerto Rico 's National Superior Basketball (BSN). While in the CBA, he won his first coaching championship, leading the Albany Patroons to their first CBA title in 1984. In Puerto Rico, he coached the Piratas de Quebradillas (1984 and 1987) and the Gallitos de Isabela (1984–1986), both have good standing within the Puerto Rican league. He regularly sought an NBA job, but was invariably turned down. He had acquired a reputation for being sympathetic to the counterculture during his playing years, which may have scared off potential NBA employers.
CHICAGO BULLS (1987–1998)
Jackson was hired as assistant coach, under Doug Collins , for the
Bulls in 1987, and was promoted to head coach in 1989. It was around
this time that he met
Tex Winter and became a devotee of Winter's
triangle offense . Over nine seasons, Jackson coached the Bulls to
six championships, winning three straight championships over separate
three-year periods. The "three-peat" was the first since the Boston
Celtics won eight titles in a row from 1959 through 1966 .
Jackson and the Bulls made the playoffs every year, and failed to win
the title only three times.
Despite the Bulls' success, tension between Jackson and Bulls general manager Jerry Krause grew. Some believed that Krause felt under-recognized for building a championship team and believed that Jackson was indebted to him for giving him his first NBA coaching job. In the summer of 1997, Jackson was not invited to the wedding of Krause's stepdaughter, although all of the Bulls' assistant coaches were, as was Tim Floyd , then head coach at Iowa State , Jackson's eventual successor. After contentious negotiations, Jackson was signed for the 1997–98 season only. Krause announced the signing by emphasizing that Jackson would not be rehired even if the Bulls won the 1997–98 title. Jackson then told Krause that he seemed to be rooting for the other side, to which Krause responded, "I don't care if it's 82-and-0 this year, you're fucking gone." Krause publicly portrayed Jackson as a two-faced character who had very little regard for his assistant coaches.
After the Bulls' final title of the Jordan era in 1998, Jackson left the team vowing never to coach again. However, after taking a year off, he decided to give it another chance with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS (1999–2004)
Jackson took over a talented Lakers team and immediately produced
results as he did in Chicago. In his first year in L.A., the Lakers
went 67–15 during the regular season to top the league. Reaching the
conference finals, they dispatched the Portland Trail Blazers in a
tough seven-game series and then won the 2000
With the talented superstar duo of Shaquille O\'Neal and Kobe Bryant
, the strong supporting cast of
Glen Rice ,
However, injuries, weak bench play, and full-blown public tension
between Bryant and O'Neal slowed the team down, and they were beaten
in the second round of the
2003 NBA Playoffs by the eventual champion
San Antonio Spurs
Prior to the 2003–04 season , the Lakers signed NBA star veterans
On June 18, 2004, three days after the loss to the Pistons, the Lakers announced that Jackson would leave his position as Lakers coach. Jackson was seeking to double his salary from $6 million to $12 million on his expiring contract. He had a contract offer outstanding from the Lakers, but he had not acted on it. Winter said Jackson announced at the All-Star break that he would not want to return to the Lakers if Bryant returned. Many fans attributed Jackson's departure directly to the wishes of Bryant, as Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss reportedly sided with Bryant. Jackson, Bryant and Buss all denied that Bryant had made any explicit demand regarding Jackson. However, O'Neal, upon hearing General Manager Mitch Kupchak 's announcement of the team's willingness to trade O'Neal and its intention to keep Bryant, indicated that he felt the franchise was indeed pandering to Bryant's wishes with the departure of Jackson. O'Neal's trade to the Miami Heat was the end of the "Trifecta" that had led the Lakers to three championship titles.
That fall, Jackson released
The Last Season , a book which describes
his point of view of the tensions that surrounded the 2003–04 Lakers
team. The book was pointedly critical of
Without Jackson and O'Neal the Lakers were forced to become a faster paced team on the court. Though they achieved some success in the first half of the season, injuries to several players including Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom forced the team out of contention, going 34–48 in 2004–05 and missing the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. Rudy Tomjanovich , Jackson's successor as coach, resigned midway through the season after coaching just 41 games, citing health issues not relating to his past bout with bladder cancer, which immediately led to speculation that the Lakers might bring Jackson back.
RETURN TO THE LAKERS (2005–2011)
On June 15, 2005, the Lakers rehired Jackson. Jackson led the Lakers
to a seventh-seed playoff berth. Once again promoting the notion of
selfless team play embodied by the triangle offense , the team
achieved substantial results, especially in the last month of the
season. Jackson also worked seamlessly with Bryant, who had earlier
shown his desire to bring back Jackson to the bench. Bryant's
regular-season performance won him the league scoring title and made
him a finalist in MVP voting. However, the Lakers faced a tough 2006
first-round matchup against the second-seeded Phoenix Suns , who were
led by eventual MVP winner
On January 7, 2007, Jackson won his 900th game, then placing him 9th
on the all-time win list for NBA coaches. With this win, Jackson
became the fastest to reach 900 career wins, doing so in only 1,264
games and beating
On December 12, 2007, after announcing he would return to his position as coach just a few days prior, Jackson inked a 2-year contract extension to continue his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers through the end of the 2009–2010 season.
During the 2007–08 season, the Lakers were able to obtain Pau Gasol
in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies . With another star to pair with
Bryant, Jackson coached the Lakers to an appearance in the 2008 NBA
Finals against the
On December 25, 2008, Jackson became the sixth coach to win 1,000 games, with the Lakers defeating the Celtics in their first matchup since the last year's finals. He was the fastest to win 1,000 games, surpassing Pat Riley, who had taken 11 more games than Jackson.
Jackson again coached the Lakers to the
On February 3, 2010, Jackson recorded his 534th win as Lakers head
On July 1, 2010, Jackson, after giving it tremendous thought and
consulting with his doctors over health concerns, announced that he
would return to coach the Lakers for the 2010–11 season. On August
2, 2010, Jackson signed a new contract with the Lakers to return for
what he mentioned was "his last stand", meaning the 2010–11 season
would be his last. In January 2011, he reiterated that it would be his
final season, explaining that in the past there was the possibility
that maybe he would reconsider. "This year, there's no maybe", said
Jackson. He retired after the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs
in the conference semifinals by that season's eventual NBA champions,
After the Lakers fired Jackson's successor, Mike Brown , early in the 2012–13 season , they first approached Jackson to replace Brown. Jackson requested two days to consider the opening. He believed the Lakers would wait for his response, but the Lakers thought it was understood they would continue their search. The next day, the team talked with Mike D\'Antoni and hired him in a unanimous decision by the front office. They felt D'Antoni's fast-paced style of play made him a "great fit" for the team, more suitable than Jackson's structured triangle offense. Jerry Buss' preference has always been for the Lakers to have a wide-open offense. In the two games leading up to D'Antoni's signing, Lakers fans at Staples Center had chanted "We Want Phil!"
In 2014, Jackson was in discussions for months with the New York Knicks regarding an executive position with the team. On March 18, he was introduced as the president of the Knicks after signing a five-year, $60 million contract.
On April 21, 2014, over one week after the conclusion of the season, Mike Woodson and his entire staff were fired. The Knicks finished the season with a 37–45 record and finished 9th in the Eastern Conference standings.
On June 25, 2014, the Knicks traded guard
On January 7, 2015, the Knicks set a franchise record with 13
straight losses. The Knicks fell 101–91 to the Washington Wizards,
giving New York its longest losing streak in the franchise's 69-year
history. This record was extended to 16 straight losses after the NBA
Global Games loss against the
On June 25, 2015, The Knicks drafted Latvian Kristaps Porziņģis
with the fourth overall pick in the 2015
On June 28, 2017 the Knicks officially announced a mutual decision to
part ways with Jackson. His position would be replaced on July 13,
2017 by Scott Perry , who previously was the vice president of
basketball operations for the
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June 2010)
In 1996, Jackson won the NBA Coach of the Year Award. In the same year he was named one of the ten greatest NBA coaches of all time by vote in an unranked compilation. At the time he was in his 8th year coaching; in the seven years prior he coached 574 games and won 414, with only 160 losses, and had a win-loss percentage of 72.1% – the highest of any coach on the list at that time. He continued his success in his later career; cumulative careers in perspective, he retains the highest win-loss percentage of any coach on this list at 70.4% (1155 wins, 485 losses).
HEAD COACHING RECORD
Jackson has had a winning record every year as a head coach, and currently has the highest winning percentage of any Hall of Fame coach, and further the highest of any NBA coach coaching 500 games or more. Along with his NBA-record eleven championships, he is the only coach to win at least ten championships in any of North America's major professional sports.
At the end of the 2010 season he had the fifth most wins of any NBA coach, and was one of only six to have over 1,000 wins. Of those six he was the only one who had not coached over 1,900 games, and likewise the only one not included in the top ten total games coached.
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
TEAM YEAR G W L W–L% FINISH PG PW PL PW–L% RESULT
L.A. Lakers 1999–00 82 67 15 .817 1st in Pacific 23 15 8 .652 WON NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
L.A. Lakers 2000–01 82 56 26 .683 1st in Pacific 16 15 1 .938 WON NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
L.A. Lakers 2001–02 82 58 24 .707 2nd in Pacific 19 15 4 .789 WON NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
L.A. Lakers 2002–03 82 50 32 .610 2nd in Pacific 12 6 6 .500 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
1st in Pacific
L.A. Lakers 2005–06 82 45 37 .549 3rd in Pacific 7 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
L.A. Lakers 2006–07 82 42 40 .512 2nd in Pacific 5 1 4 .200 Lost in First Round
1st in Pacific
L.A. Lakers 2008–09 82 65 17 .793 1st in Pacific 23 16 7 .696 WON NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
L.A. Lakers 2009–10 82 57 25 .695 1st in Pacific 23 16 7 .696 WON NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
L.A. Lakers 2010–11 82 57 25 .695 1st in Pacific 10 4 6 .400 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
1,640 1,155 485 .704
333 229 104 .688
Jackson has five children (Brooke, Chelsea, Elizabeth, Ben, and Charlie) and eight grandchildren. He married his first wife, Maxine, in 1967. They divorced in 1972. He married his second wife, June, in 1974, but they also divorced. He dated Jeanie Buss , the daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss , whom he met in 1999. The two became engaged in 2013. On December 27, 2016, they announced the termination of their engagement in a joint statement on Twitter.
Jackson owns homes in Playa del Rey, Los Angeles , and Lakeside, Montana .
While he was coach of the Chicago Bulls he lived in Bannockburn .
Jackson has admitted to using marijuana and
Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2011. He told the Lakers players in May 2011, when they were involved in a second-round playoff series against the Mavericks. Jackson decided to delay his surgery until after the playoffs.
* Jackson, Phil;
George Kalinsky (1970). Take It All!. ISBN
* Jackson, Phil;
Charley Rosen (1975). Maverick. ISBN 0-87223-439-8
* Jackson, Phil; Hugh Delehanty (1995). Sacred Hoops: Spiritual
Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior. ISBN 0-7868-6206-8 .
* Jackson, Phil;
Charley Rosen (2001). More than a Game. ISBN
* Jackson, Phil; Michael Arkush (2004). The Last Season: A Team in
Search of Its Soul . ISBN 1-59420-035-1 .
* Jackson, Phil (2009). The Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Amazing Years in
the City of Angels. ISBN 0-9823242-0-0 . (foreword only; text is
taken from the
Los Angeles Times
* List of
* ^ Ramona Shelburne (May 10, 2011). "Tense moments in Lakers\' last stand". ESPN. Retrieved January 4, 2013. * ^ "Basketball Court Zen". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
* ^ "RealGM: Wiretap Archives: Jackson And Williams Lead HOF
* ^ A B "Top 10 Coaches in NBA History". NBA.com. Retrieved August
* ^ "Top 10 Coaches in NBA History". NBA.com. Retrieved July 31,
* ^ Broussard, Chris. (June 16, 2009). "X marks the spot of
greatest NBA coach".
* ^ Neil, Greenberg. (February 10, 2015). "