It appears Phil Jackson will officially be hanging it up at the end of this season. Since as early as last summer, Jackson has said this will be his final season coaching in the NBA. However, Jackson is somewhat known for having a hard time staying away. After his last championship with Chicago in 1998, Jackson said he was through coaching. However, Jackson returned before the 1990-2000 season to coach the Lakers.
After the 2003-04 season in Los Angeles, Jackson retired again, sitting out the entire 2004-05 season. After a one year sabbatical, Jackson came back for a second stint with the Lakers. So, it’s easy to see why someone would take Jackson’s latest retirement announcement with a grain of salt. With that being said, it appears as though the Zen Master is very confident this time about his decision to retire and stay retired. Jackson confirmed this recently in an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm. In the interview, Jackson said he was not only done with coaching, but was done with the game of basketball all together. People banking on Phil being a color commentator or taking a front office position should not hold their breath.
Personally, it is sad that in a matter of 3-4 months, the world of basketball will be without its greatest sideline savant. Jackson has won a record 11 NBA championships as a coach, and he could possibly nab his 12th this season. It is safe to say this record will never come close to being touched. Whether you love or hate Jackson, one has to admit it will be strange not having him around anymore. Whether it is the elevated chair he sits in on the Lakers’ sideline, the barbs he throws at his players and opponents, or his one of a kind coaching philosophy, there is something every basketball fan will miss about Jackson.
Not only will the Lakers have big shoes to fill, but the NBA as a whole will as well. So, as Jackson’s career comes to an end, let’s enjoy him why he is here. It is safe to say, the NBA will never have a coach or a person as successful or unique as Phil Jackson ever again. Check out the video of Jackson’s interview with Hannah Storm after the jump.
Joshua Sexton is a lifelong basketball fanatic, who watches as many games as possible. In addition, He has played and coached the game at the high school level. He has recently started writing about the game of basketball.