When Mike D’Antoni coaches his first game as the Lakers head coach this evening, Phil Jackson will be far away, not on an NBA sideline, but sitting in a home presumably made of money. Will he be watching the Lakeshow that opted for D’Antoni instead of him? Maybe, if he can find time in between working on his sky hook and working on his sky hook.
Seriously, look at this ’90s Phil getting his hook ON.
Jackson is one of, if not the best coach in NBA history. So good a coach, that if you’re younger than 40, you might not even know he ever played the game professionally — for 12 seasons. He spent the first 10 of them with the Knicks, winning two championships with the squad. He was a pretty average player (6.7 PPG on his career), but apparently his skills only refined with age, as you can see from this practice gem from some time in the 1990s when he was coaching the Chicago Bulls.
The only shame about this GIF is that it ends abruptly after the Zen Master sinks the shot. You can see whoever was in the red pinny in the paint start to turn around and react, and I’m sure the rest of the team would’ve erupted too, because that’s the kind of thing that happens when your old, washed-up (as a player, not a coach) coach hits an amazing shot.
So to the victor goes the spoils, and may Mike D’Antoni get quite a few spoils in Los Angeles. Phil Jackson will always have his 13 rings — and this fantastic shot.