The most successful coach in NBA history retired earlier this summer, taking a creative and needling personality with him.
Phil Jackson could raise the hackles of Spurs Nation better than any opposing coach. Like the time he said the Spurs’ 1998-99 championship deserved an asterisk because it was played with only 50 regular-season games. Or when he called Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff “The Simulator Crew” because of their lack of NBA playing experience.
But it’s true that the NBA will be a little less interesting without Jackson around next season.
His old friend and one-time assistant on his Albany Patroons staff, Charley Rosen, had an about Jackson and his unique coaching style.
Jackson had a way of directing his team that was decidedly his own. Like using smoldering leaves of white sage to cleanse his locker room of negative energy. Or beating a tom-tom to attract positive energy. Or his meditation exercises that were meant to identify his team’s personal “safe” spots on a bench.
We won’t see any of this from Popovich, Doc Rivers, Rick Carlisle or Erik Spoelstra.
And the NBA will be less interesting because of it.
But in case any of Spurs Nation is wondering if Jackson has become a reclusive hermit at his Montana compound, fear not.
His girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, had a tweet over the Fourth of July that informed us all that Jackson is enjoying his retirement — at least so far. (Hat tip to Sports by Brooks.com)
“Wishing all a happy reflective 4th of July,” . “Phil sent this (picture) from MT. You can take the man out of Woodstock but…”
Actually, Jackson looked like he might be getting ready for the motorcycle rallies at Sturgis, S.D., next month .
And he was only missing the giant red, white and blue hat and the extended index finger to be mistaken for Uncle Sam.