Three years after Phil Jackson ended his career as one of the most successful coaches in the NBA, he tried his hand as an executive. It wasn’t, however, before giving a good thought about it.
Jackson and New York Knicks were in discussion for months regarding an executive position with the franchise. He might have had a few discussions with those who knew him. There were, in fact, a few who advised him against taking up the role.
Charley Rosen, once an assistant coach to Jackson and someone who is working on his biography, was amongst the people who advised the former Bulls coach against taking up the role. Also, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss had a similar feeling about Jackson taking up a front-office role.
“I told him not to take it because it’s crazy there,’’ Rosen told New York Post. “Jeanie [Buss] told him not to take it. If he came there, it would end their relationship 3,000 miles away.”
Phil Jackson and the triangle offense
As a coach, Jackson achieved things that very few others could boast of. He started as an assistant coach with Chicago Bulls in 1987. In 1989, he became the head coach of a team with stars like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and others.
He implemented his triangle offense philosophy to enjoy immense success. Thinking about Jordan not wanting to play in the triangle offense feels odd in retrospect considering the success they achieved.
The Bulls dominated the NBA in the 1990s, going on a run of six titles in eight years.
He later implemented the triangle offense at the Lakers with similar success. He initially had Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to work with and won a three-peat with them- his third in his coaching career. He later came back to the Lakers to win back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.
He, however, did not seem to be successful in trying to implement his philosophy as an executive. Soon after he signed as the president of the Knicks in 2014, he fired the entire staff. The Knicks then appointed Derek Fisher, who played under Jackson, as the coach. After not much success in the NBA, the Knicks parted ways with Jackson in 2017.