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Long-Time Former LA Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, Fact Sheet

Biographical Info on Former Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Coach Phil Jackson


Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson Profile, Bio, Fact Sheet

Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Staff/Getty Images

Birth Name: Philip Douglas Jackson

Birthdate: September 17, 1945

Birthplace: Deer Lodge, Montana


  • Twice divorced
  • Has five children
  • Is the son of ministers

Height: 6’8”

Weight: 230 lbs

Phil Jackson Career History:

  • Ended his long and successful tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers and was replaced as head coach by Mike Brown (2011)
  • Returned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after a hiatus (2005)
  • Declined an offer to become Vice President of the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Stepped down as LA Lakers coach (2004)
  • Took over as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers (1999)
  • Took time off from coaching (1998)
  • Became head coach of the Chicago Bulls (1989)
  • Was assistant coach of the Chicago Bulls (1987)
  • Coached the Albany team in the Continental Basketball Association (1986-87)
  • Retired from playing but remained assistant coach (one season) and became team broadcaster (1980)
  • Was traded to the New Jersey Nets where he also became assistant coach (1978)
  • Joined the New York Knicks as a second-round draft choice (1967)

Star Basketball Players Coached by Phil Jackson:

  • Michael Jordan
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Dennis Rodman

Books by Jackson (as author and co-author):

  • The Last Season: A Team in Search of its Soul
  • More Than a Game
  • The Gospel According to Phil
  • Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior
  • Maverick

Distinctions and Honors:

  • Led the Lakers to a win over the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Championship
  • After winning the Lakers/Magic 2008-9 championship series in five games, he beat Red Auerbach, who won nine N.B.A. titles (1950 to 1966) for the Boston Celtics
  • As head coach, he has won eleven NBA titles
  • Had the distinction of being the highest paid coach in NBA history at $10 million (as of 2007)
  • Led the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive NBA championships (1989-90)
  • Led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive title wins in his first three seasons (2000-2001)
  • Holds records for his winning percentages in regular and playoff seasons of .724 and .718
  • Has won more National Basketball Association championships than any coach in league history


  • Uses unorthodox teaching methods which involve Eastern spirituality approaches to motivation, blending Zen Buddhism principles and teachings from the Lakota Sioux
  • Introduced the 'triangle offense' (a technique which includes perpetual motion and pass and cut options); first became known for this when he was head coach of the Chicago Bulls

Career NBA Record: 832 wins and 316 losses during regular season; his .725 winning percentage has been the best in NBA annals.


  • Zen Master
  • Bones
  • PJ
  • Head and Shoulders
  • Action Jackson

Selected TV Show Appearances by Phil Jackson:

  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan (2008)
  • The Apprentice (2007)

Phil Jackson’s Philosophy:

When a single player surrenders self-interest for the ‘greater good,’ he manifests his fullest athletic gifts
“Selflessness is the soul of teamwork”-Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson Quote:

“Basketball is a sport that involves the subtle interweaving of players at full speed to the point where they are thinking and moving as one.”

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