Our friends at TMZ were running around Santa Barbara earlier today. And guess who they found? The man that has won 11 championship rings as an NBA coach, Phil Jackson.
TMZ asked Phil about the Lakers recently jilting him for current head man Mike D’Antoni. His answers are, well, typical Phil Jackson.
Phil Jackson says he’s NOT bitter at the Lakers for passing him over for the head coaching job earlier this month … claiming Lakers brass decided to go with Mike D’Antoni in a “midnight coup.”
The Zen Master was out in Santa Barbara this weekend … when he was asked if he felt the Lakers treated him unfairly during the negotiations. Jackson explained, “We never discussed any terms … so there was never anything unfair about it.”
Phil — now 67-years-old — also made it clear … the chances of him ever coaching in the NBA again are “slim and none.”
Before the Lakers flirted with Phil about getting him on board for a third stint as head coach, I felt it was impossible for them to get him back. Jackson is 67 years old and we all knew he was weary of the nearly-everyday travel that the NBA does. After all, he had made demands before about having an assistant coach do some road games while he does the home games. While there was word that he had made the same demands on their latest negotiations, the Lakers turned to Mike D’Antoni on a late Sunday night in a surprise move. As for any other team trying to get Phil, I felt he was only coaching the Lakers or nobody else.
Phil Jackson, as mentioned, has 11 championship rings and has a pristine coaching record of 1155-485 (.704) in the regular season. He also has an incredible 229-104 (.688) record in the playoffs as head coach. Among his many achievements, he coached the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls to the best regular season record in history (72-10) and won Coach of the Year that same season.
Jackson also won two NBA championships as a player with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973, giving him 13 total NBA championships.