Happy Birthday Phil Jackson!


Happy 70th birthday to Philip Douglas “Phil” Jackson!

Jackson is the most accomplished person in the NBA, holding the record for the most combined NBA championships as a player and a head coach. Jackson has won thirteen NBA championships, winning a couple of NBA championships as player with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973. Jackson would go on to win eleven more NBA championships as a head coach.

As the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, Jackson won six NBA championships in two separate three-peats. Jackson won NBA championships with Chicago from 1991-1993, and again in 1996-1998. Jackson would go on to win five more NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson would accomplish another three-peat with Los Angeles from 2000-2002, and captured a couple more from 2009-2010.

More from Knicks News

Here at Daily Knicks, of course we are most grateful for “Action” Jackson’s contributions to the only two championships New York has from the early 70s. New York drafted Jackson with their second round pick in the 1967 NBA Draft, selected 17th overall. Jackson averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in his decade long career with the Knicks.

In 1978, New York traded Jackson along with their 1978 first round draft pick (Winford Boynes was later selected) to the New Jersey Nets for their 1978 and 1979 first round draft pick. The draft picks would turn out to be Micheal Ray Richardson and Vinnie Johnson respectively.

This trade kicked off Jackson’s coaching career, being a player and an assistant coach throughout his time with the Nets. Jackson would play for two seasons with the Nets before retiring as a player after the 1980 season. Jackson would continue on the Nets’ coaching staff for a year before pursuing  head coach opportunities in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and Puerto Rico‘s National Superior Basketball (BSN).

Jackson would return to the NBA in 1987, joining Doug Collins‘ coaching staff in Chicago. In 1989, Jackson assumed the head coach position, thus starting his legendary Bulls’ run. Jackson holds the NBA record for most regular season wins with a 72-10 record in the Bulls’ 1995-1996 season. Capturing this feat when Michael Jordan un-retired and came back in his first full season in 1995, the Bulls were unstoppable en route to starting their second three-peat.

From bringing joy and championships to New York, Phil now brought misery. With All-Time greats Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Jackson and the Bulls eliminated New York from the Playoffs in 1989, 1991, 1992,1993, and 1996.

1989 Playoffs: Lost in six games to the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

1991 Playoffs: Swept 3-0 in the First Round.

1992 Playoffs: Lost in a hard-fought seven games series to the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

1993 Playoffs: New York took a 2–0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, before losing four straight…to the Bulls.

1996 Playoffs: Lost in five games to the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

More from Daily Knicks

I just got sad…

When the Jordan Bulls’ era ended, so did Jackson’s tenure in Chicago. After a year hiatus, Jackson took over the head coaching position of the Lakers in 1999. With another roster loaded with two superstars in Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, Jackson won 67 games in his first season with Los Angeles. Jackson would go on to win the NBA championship in 2000, en route to his third three-peat!

In 2004, Jackson would leave the Lakers but would return shortly in 2005. Now with the team centered around Bryant. Jackson would capture a couple more NBA championships when the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol to team up with Kobe. After failing to capture his fourth three-peat, Jackson retired as a coach in 2011.

In 2007, Jackson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.


Wishing you joy and success, may you enjoy this special day with your family and friends.

Just in you didn’t get enough for your Phil Jackson-fix, below is an in-depth look into Jackson’s NBA career by NBA TV in 2007, when Jackson was being inducted into the Hall of Fame.