Philip Jackson

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Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson (born September 17, 1945) is a retired American professional basketball coach and former player. Jackson is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

  • In his 1975 book "Maverick: More Than a Game," Jackson claimed that some LSD he gobbled for breakfast in Malibu in May 1973 lent his game a boost. The shaggy-haired Knicks forward said the "spiritual flash" he experienced that day on the beach gave him a new love for the sport and a deeper appreciation of team play.
  • Known for producing deeply emotional and sometimes confusing revelations, the LSD brought Jackson face-to-face with issues about his body. He had learned over the years to trust his mind, but his relationship with his body was entirely different. The back pain and difficulties had pushed him to the conclusion that his body had somehow let him down.
  • However, under the influence of the drug, Jackson began to see the fallacy of his contempt. He felt a oneness between mind and body and with it a surge of power and strength like he hadn't felt in years.
  • Besides this physical rejuvenation, the day brought a host of other revelations - that he had to learn to love himself before he could love others; that he had to confront and subjugate his substantial ego, which in turn would lead to greater understanding about team basketball and his role in it. He saw that he had to rid himself of indeciseveness, that he had to begin taking responsibility for his actions.
  • Most important in the day was a "spiritual flash", the awe he gained at recognizing the Creator's power, a development that would send him on an intense search over the ensuing months for the best means of honoring and worshiping God. Jackson also saw that day the equality of people in God's eyes, the vast importance of every single person. And more important, he saw the bonds that connect people.
  • Out of this LSD trip came an enhanced love for the game of basketball and a new appreciation of team play, an appreciation that would be eviden the next fall when he rejoined the Knicks. "I had to rediscover my ego in order to lose it.... I was able to become a totally team-oriented player for the first time," he would later write.
  • Not surprisingly, the 1973-1974 campaign would become his most productive professional season. He would average a career-high 11.1 points per game and almost 6 rebounds per outing. Better yet, he experienced a new understanding of his teammates. When he looked at them, he felt that he saw all the forces and pressures pulling at them and affecting them. It was as if his team intuition had flowered into a sixthsense about the connectedness of basketball, a sixth sense that he would trust again and again over the years. -- from the book Mindgames: Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey