Friday, June 6, 2008

Insight into Phil Jackson

With the NBA down to two teams, there are a bunch of in-depth stories on the coaches and players from both BOS and LA. Couple of good ones recently on Phil Jackson, including one from the NY Times and one from USA Today that ran yesterday.

The Times article really focuses on Coach Jackson's time in the CBA, which made it more interesting for me. Having spent seven seasons coaching in the CBA (as well as two summers in the USBL), I have no doubt that Phil's success can be attributed to his time as a minor league head coach. While an assistant's job is certainly worthwhile, there's nothing like being a head coach to gain experience and create your own style of play and philosophies.

[As a side note, here's a 1989 article from the NY Times about Phil's time in the CBA.]

In the USA Today article, there are a couple of noteworthy quotes:

  • Coach Jackson on his job: "There are a lot of coaches in the NBA skilled at execution and fundamentals. They draw magnificent plays. But I've always been about the intuitive connection players have for one another. That bond they create is what makes (great) teams what they are."
  • Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis on Jackon's strengths: "He's a terrific communicator. He deals with the superstars who need certain treatment, and are given liberties, and keeps role players motivated by (playing them)."
  • Turiaf on what he likes about his coach: "[He] allows you to be who you are."
  • Lakers assistant Brian Shaw on Jackson's patience: "[He is] probably the most patient coach I've ever played for or been around."
  • Lakers assistant Tex Winter on Jackson's timeout strategy: "I used to nudge him, 'Get a timeout, Coach. Time to get up and earn that fabulous salary of yours.' Phil would say, 'Relax, let 'em play through it.' He still wants his players to make the commitment and accept responsibility."
  • Charles Barkley on Jackson's coaching style: "There is nothing Phil does that isn't premeditated."