Phil Jackson might as well get a parking space at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, he’s there so much. Friday night he helped present Tex Winter and Dennis Rodman. While he was there, the Chicago Tribune got a hold of him and asked him about his plans for retirement, since rumors continue he’d be taking over the Knicks (Mike D’Antoni wonders why everyone keeps asking this question while he’s still collecting paychecks from MSG). Jackson took a nice little shot at James Dolan and his “band.”
“No,” he said. “Im going to rewrite Knicks owner Jimmy Dolans song ‘Fix the Knicks‘. I think he needs either a better lyricist or a better musician.”
via Reunited: Phil Jackson and Jerry Krause have common cause – chicagotribune.com. Not that the song wasn’t atrocious from a musical perspective, but it would be better if Jackson were actually talking about the part where Dolan talked about Isiah Thomas. Helping him rewrite that part about being friends with Isiah would really be the best part for all. But perhaps more interesting was Jackson’s actual answer. I expected an outright “I’m done.” But instead, here’s Jackson’s response as to whether he’ll make a return to coaching.
“I’ll know in October, November, December, January or February, whenever they start the season, what it’s like to be without ball again,” he said.
So that’s not really a “I’m through, I’ll be in Montana if you need me” kind of answer. It’s just enough to leave the door open for a return. In short, if I’m Mike D’Antoni, I’m going to go ahead and keep that resume up to date. And tell the boss that his music is awesome. That can’t hurt. Also nice to see Phil can’t still take jabs, even in retirement, as sharp as ever.
Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are by their nature emotional. This year’s was no different. There were memorable moments, watching Tex Winter get up to the stage, Artis Gilmore finally being recognized, Theresa Edwards’ powerful speech.
Dennis Rodman was Dennis Rodman — raw, emotional, wearing a sequin jacket with his number and saying Pistons and Bulls — and in the end powerful like few others.
“I didn’t play the game for the money. I didn’t play the game to be famous. What you see here is an illusion, that I love to be an individual that is very colorful….
“I could have been anywhere in the world. I could have been dead. I could have been a drug dealer. I could have been homeless, I was homeless. A lot of you guys here, a lot of you guys in the Hall of Fame know what I’m talking about, living in the projects. You just want to get out of the projects. And I did that, but it took a lot of hard work and a lot of bumps along the road…
“People ask if I have any regrets as a basketball player, I have one regret: I wish I was a better father.
Rodman talked about the pain of a dad who made money writing a book about him but never spoke to him. He talked about his mother, how their relationship was strained and he felt bad about that. He also talked about the four men who played the father role for him — Phil Jackson, Jerry Buss, Chuck Daly and James Rich. He thanked Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
We will get up the video soon. You need to see it (with the kids out of the room). But in the end, this was vintage Rodman. Flamboyant, raw and true.
UPDATE 8:02 pm: Tex Winter got his wish — just before the start of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony was about to start Phil Jackson and Jerry Krause shook hands, according to a tweet from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
The two men there for Tex Winter sat three seats apart from each other and reportedly were cordial.
1:38 pm: Tex Winter — former college coach of the year, triangle offense architect and the right hand man of Phil Jackson — is finally getting his place in the Hall of Fame. A much deserved honor.
It’s a bittersweet moment as a stroke a couple years back has robbed Winter of so much. Friday night when introduced at the Hall of Fame press conference he insisted on speaking but could barely string together a sentence. For anyone who had spoken to the razor sharp Winter before, it was heartbreaking.
But when Jerry Krause — the GM of the Bulls through their heyday — met with Winter earlier this year, Winter was able to express one wish to Kraus, something he wanted on his enshrinement weekend. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo takes it from there.
Winter wants the two men to whom he’s most indebted – Krause and Phil Jackson – to rise above years of acrimony and simply shake hands. It’s been a long time, too long, and Krause will grudgingly do it for a simple reason.
“For Tex, I would jump off a building,” Krause told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve seen Phil walking down the opposite side of the hallway, and I’ve kept right on going past him. I’ve never stopped. But for Tex, yeah … I’ll do it.”
Krause was a punching bag for Jackson and Michael Jordan, everyone trying to grab shares of credit for the Bulls dynasty years as if it were a zero-sum game. The fact is Krause does deserve credit — he brought those players together. He got Pippen, he brought in Rodman and Kukoc and Paxson and Kerr and all the others that played key roles over the years.
Go read Woj’s entire story, filled with good insight on how those Bulls came together. It’s interesting stuff.
And we hope that Tex Winter can get his wish on the night of his Hall of Fame enshrinement.
You knew Dennis Rodman going into the Hall of Fame was going to be a spectacular show, one way or another.
But did you expect helicopters and acrobats? Well, yes, we kind of did.
And we will not be disappointed, according to Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald (via SLAM).
Aventura’s Dennis Rodman told us Tuesday he will arrive at his Basketball Hall of Fame induction Friday by helicopter. He wanted to enter the Hall on a colorful float, “but they wouldn’t let me block off the street” in Springfield, Mass.
He said he will hire acrobats to perform and “a couple of my outfits will be ‘out there.’ Whatever might be too zany is not too zany.” His marketing agent, Floyd Ragland, said Rodman is spending $60,000 to fly in Penny Marshall, Howard Stern and other friends. Phil Jackson is Rodman’s presenter.
Rodman uses the word “zany?”
By the way, the fact Phil Jackson is showing up to present Rodman and Tex Winter is the ultimate sign of respect from the coach with more rings than anyone — he hates these kind of glad-handing events. But for these two men, he will be there.
Silence can speak volumes.
When Kobe Bryant refused to talk about the hiring of Mike Brown, it had less to do with the hire than how it went down. First, Kobe was on record as a Brian Shaw backer. Second, he wasn’t even consulted or told about the hire — a consideration top stars all around the league are given (even Minnesota is consulting with Kevin Love). Jim Buss later admitted this was a mistake.
All that doesn’t mean Kobe and Brown can’t work together. Talking with the ESPN, Kobe said nice things about Brown (hat tip to Lakers Nation).
“We’ve talked. We’ve met, we’ve talked several times, met several times. We have been in dialogue there has been an open dialogue.”
He just seems like the type of coach that buttons everything up, so I think as players we’ll all be happy.”
It’s not a lot of detail, it’s not an effervescent, wildly enthusiastic Kobe.
But in the end, he and the veterans on the Lakers will get behind Brown. Because they have no choice. Their window is nearing an end, they have a couple more years and then it’s time to rebuild. They don’t have time to waste a year bickering with a coach. Fall in line or watch the window close. You don’t have to like Jim Buss working hard to divorce the Lakers from the Phil Jackson era — to assert his authority over sister Jeanie, even if it means kissing a system that wins goodbye — but you have to accept it.
Kobe sounds like he is getting there. And if he accepts it, the rest of the locker room will fall in line.