Phil Jackson Details How He Built a Relation With Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant & Other NBA Superstars

Published 03/26/2021, 3:43 PM EDT
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)


Phil Jackson is arguably the greatest coach that the NBA ever saw. The legendary coach has coached some legendary teams like the Michael Jordan-led Bulls and Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal-led Los Angeles Lakers.

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In the 20 seasons that he was a coach in the NBA, he won a total of whopping 11 NBA championships, 6 with the Chicago Bulls and 5 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Coaching teams like the 90s Bulls and the three-peat Lakers comes at a huge cost though. Rosters are often filled with superstars, and the coach has to deal with all these personalities.

While the majority of coaches would struggle, Phil Jackson was certainly unfazed by the challenge. The legendary coach was a favorite among both the rosters, with superstars like Jordan and Kobe sharing a great bond with Jackson.

Phil Jackson reveals how he built a good relationship with Michael Jordan & Kobe Bryant

Phil Jackson certainly left a lasting impact on the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. It was evident, especially in Jordan’s case, as the 5-time MVP refused to play under any other coach and left the game only at the age of 32.

If not for Jackson’s departure from the Bulls in 1998, we might have seen even more records been broken by MJ and the Bulls. The legendary coach recently appeared at the Curious Leader podcast hosted by Coby Karl.

There the 75-year-old opened up about how he built a good rapport with superstars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dennis Rodman.

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Jackson said, “I think it’s those little interactions. I don’t think it’s sitting down. There’s once the preseason, postseason. mid-season, you know where you’re sitting down, how’s it going once again, like guys do whatever.

“But it’s those moments that you have inside of the activity that’s going on that brings the moment when you can touch that thing.”

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While Jackson had a successful career as a Head Coach in the NBA, the veteran failed terribly as a Team President for the New York Knicks. After 3 years of taking the Knicks nowhere, Jackson finally was relieved of his duties in 2017.

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Aditya Mohapatra

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Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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