Phil Jackson

December 23rd, 1997: Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson is quickest to reach 500 wins (682 games).

Philip Douglas Jackson (born September 17, 1945) is an American former professional basketball player, coach, and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A power forward, Jackson played 12 seasons in the NBA, winning NBA championships with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973. Jackson was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 to 1998, leading them to six NBA championships. He then coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2005 to 2011; the team won five league titles under his leadership. Jackson’s 11 NBA titles as a coach surpassed the previous record of nine set by Red Auerbach. He also holds the NBA record for the most combined championships, winning a total of 13 as a player and a coach.

Jackson is known for his use of Tex Winter’s triangle offense as well as a holistic approach to coaching that was influenced by Eastern philosophy, garnering him the nickname “Zen Master”. Jackson cited Robert Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of the major guiding forces in his life. He also applied Native American spiritual practices, as documented in his book Sacred Hoops. He is the author of several candid books about his teams and his basketball strategies. In 2007, Jackson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996, as part of celebrations for the NBA’s 50th anniversary, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history.

Jackson retired from coaching in 2011 and joined the Knicks as an executive in March 2014. He was dismissed as the Knicks’ team president on June 28, 2017.

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