Phil Jackson is a former professional basketball player and head coach in the National Basketball Association. As a player, he won two NBA Championships with the New York Knicks, and as a coach, he won 11 – the most of any other coach in the league.

He is best known as the head coach for the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson has been named as the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History and the Top 15 Coaches of NBA History.

Player Profile and Personal Life

Philip Douglas Jackson was born on September 17, 1945, in Deer Lodge, Montana in the United States of America. He stands 203 cm tall and his weight was last listed at 100 kg. He was a power forward as a player and he was right-handed.

Position Power Forward
Height / weight 2.03 m / 100 kg
Born 17 Sep 1945
Nationality United States United States
Playing Style Right Handed
Nickname the Zen Master
Team History
203 new jersey nets New Jersey Nets 1978 - 1980
204 new york knicks New York Knicks 1968 - 1978

He is the father to five kids and he has eight grandkids. He has been married twice. In 2011, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2023, he said that he no longer watches NBA games as he deems it “too political”.

High School and College Career

He attended Williston High School in North Dakota. Later, he committed to play college basketball for the University of North Dakota and was there from 1964 to 1967.

In 1966 and 1967, he was named the NCC Player of the Year. He was also named to the First-team All-NCC three times. He was twice named to the First-team Division II All-American.

Playing Career

Jackson was drafted into the NBA in 1967. He was chosen in the second round of the 1967 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He would play with the Knicks from 1967 to 1978. In 1978, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets.

Jackson played for the Nets until he retired from playing in 1980.

In his playing career, he became an NBA Champion twice while he was playing with the Knicks. In his first year in the league, he was also named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Coaching Career

Even while he was still a player for the Nets, Jackson had already taken on the role of assistant coach. He held this position through 1981. Then From 1982 to 1987, he coached the Albany Patroons of The Basketball League.

He then went on to coach in Puerto Rico for the Piratas de Quebradillas. From 1984 to 1986, he was the head coach for the Gallitos de Isabela.

Jackson returned to coaching in the NBA in 1987 when he was hired as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls. He was then promoted to become the head coach of the Bulls, serving from 1987 to 1989. In that time, he helped lead the Bulls to six NBA Championships in two three-peats.

In 1999, he was hired as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. This time, he led the Lakers to five NBA Championships, giving him a total of 11 Championship wins as a coach, the most of any player.

In 1996, he was honored as the NBA Coach of the Year. In 2007, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player.

Career Highlights

As a player:

  • 1970, 1973 - NBA champion
  • 1968 - NBA All-Rookie First Team
  • 1966, 1967 - First-team Division II All-American
  • 1966, 1967 - NCC Player of the Year
  • 1965–1967 - First-team All-NCC

As a Head Coach:

  • 1991–1993, 1996–1998, 2000–2002, 2009, 2010 - NBA champion
  • 1992, 1996, 2000, 2009 - NBA All-Star Game head coach
  • 1996 - NBA Coach of the Year
  • Top 10 Coaches in NBA History
  • Top 15 Coaches in NBA History
  • 1984 - CBA champion
  • 1985 - CBA Coach of the Year

Career NBA Playing Statistics

  • Points - 5,428 (6.7 ppg)
  • Rebounds - 3,454 (4.3 rpg)
  • Assists - 898 (1.1 apg)

Career Coaching Record

  • NBA - 1,155–485 (.704)

  • Basketball Hall of Fame as Coach, 2007

Team History:

As a Coach:

  • 1978–1981 - New Jersey Nets (assistant)
  • 1982–1987 - Albany Patroons
  • 1984 - Piratas de Quebradillas
  • 1984–1986 - Gallitos de Isabela
  • 1987 - Piratas de Quebradillas
  • 1987–1989 - Chicago Bulls (assistant)
  • 1989–1998 - Chicago Bulls
  • 1999–2004, 2005–2011 - Los Angeles Lakers

Phil Jackson FAQ

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