Phil Jackson’s much anticipated book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” is set to release tomorrow and will give readers a look back at the Zen Master’s basketball life. Lakers Nation had the chance to get a look at the new book and it is filled with a plethora of memorable quotes and stories.
In one section of the book, Jackson talks about him hearing of his new Los Angeles job while with his sons. After leaving the Chicago Bulls, Jackson was without a coaching job until the Los Angeles Lakers struck a deal with the then six-time champion. Jackson remembers the day his career took a turn for the better and offered a glimpse into the day.
I was in the middle of nowhere–a small village on the Iliamna Lake in Alaska–when I heard the news. My sons, Ben and Charlie, were with me. We were on a fly-fishing trip in a secluded wilderness area, and the fishing wasn’t going very well. So that afternoon we knocked off early and boated up the Iliamna River to see the falls. When we arrived back at the village, a throng of children surrounded us.
“Are you Phil Jackson?” one of the boys asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “Why?”
“I hear you got the job with the Lakers.”
“What? How do you know that?”
“We got a dish. It’s on ESPN.”
That’s how my adventure began. Actually, it didn’t come as a total surprise. My agent, Todd, and I had discussed the deal before I left for Alaska. I’d given him the go-ahead to negotiate with the Lakers since I would be unreachable by phone. Still, it was a bit of a shock to get the news from an Inuit boy in a place as far away in spirit from the glitzy, high stakes culture of Los Angeles as any I could imagine.
The Lakers were hoping Jackson could turn their franchise around and make the Kobe/Shaq duo into one of the best in the league. Jackson worked wonders for the Bulls and Michael Jordan and he did the same thing in Los Angeles. The Lakers ended up winning three consecutive titles from 2000-2002 and when Jackson returned for a second stint with the team, he ended up winning two more, moving his coaching champion ring count to 11.
Los Angeles was thinking about hiring Jackson for a third time during the 2012-13 season, but at the last second, the team decided to hire Mike D’Antoni instead. It seems as though Jackson is done coaching in the NBA, but don’t be surprised if he takes a front office job sometime in the near future.
Did you see Phil Jackson stop by The Tonight Show to chat with Jay Leno? If not, check out our video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!