Phil Jackson may have walked away from basketball, but he’s still got some duties to perform.
At the Hall of Fame inductions on Aug. 12, Jackson is going to be a busy man. He has been asked to be the presenter for both Tex Winter, his long-time assistant coach, and Dennis Rodman, a former player of Jackson’s with the Bulls.
Rodman rose to prominence at the heart of he “Bad Boy” Pistons, and that team’s coach Chuck Daly might have been Rodman’s first choice if Daly were still with us. But there is a real connection between Jackson and Rodman from the Bulls era as well — Jackson called Rodman the greatest pure athlete he ever coached.
Tex Winter is best remembered as Jackson’s assistant coach and offensive guru, but he had a legendary career before that. He literally wrote the book on the triangle offense, an offense run at all levels of the game. Before that he was a top college coach (he took Kansas State to the Final Four twice and was national coach of the year).
These kinds of moments suit Jackson and his stature in the game. Being on the sidelines does not any more, he didn’t seem to have that same fire last season.
The induction ceremony takes place Aug. 12 in Springfield, Mass., at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.