Phil Jackson’s ties to coaching are forever linked to winning championships with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago, followed by a third three-peat by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant and finally capped by two more rings with Bryant at the lead for the Lakers.
But his early days of Zen started in Madison Square Garden, where Jackson was a two-time NBA champion as a player for the New York Knicks. In an interview with HBO Real Sports reporter Andrea Kremer in 2012, Jackson said he wouldn’t take the head coaching job with the Knicks, despite how special New York is to him, because “there’s too much work that has to be done with that team. It’s clumsy.”
Two seasons later and Jackson’s now finalizing a deal to head the front office of the franchise where his pro journey began. Of course, before he sings that contract, a few other teams hope he’ll reconsider.