338. Phil Jackson: Winning at All Levels

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Phil Jackson is an American basketball coach, and general manager. He used to be a basketball player, and played for several seasons in the National Basketball Association during the 1970s. He played for the New York Knicks for most of his career after being drafted by the team in 1967. He was a top reserve player for the Knicks team that won the NBA Championship in 1973. Because of a spinal injury, he did not continue to play for the team. Jackson was an average player, who found some success in the NBA, but his phenomenal success in the league came as a coach.

As coach of the Chicago Bulls, Jackson's teams won six titles in nine years. He was hired in 1987 by the Bulls as an assistant coach, and took over the head coaching job in 1989. Helping him win the titles was Michael Jordan. Jordan is one of the most successful athletes ever to play the game of basketball. Many people claim that Jackson was able to win his six titles because of Jordan, while others point out that Jordan preceded Jackson without ever winning a title. In any event, the duo worked, and the rest is NBA history.

Jackson join the Los Angeles Lakers as coach in 2000. The Lakers were in a similar situation as the Bulls during that time. The team had plenty of talent, but lacked leadership. Jackson, once again, provided that. During his time with the Lakers, Jackson's teams won five NBA titles, nearly matching the Bulls run. Jackson also benefited from having Kobe Bryant and other talented players on his roster, but his success was now firmly cemented in basketball lore. Jackson is currently the general manager of his old team, the New York Knicks.

          

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