The Low Post News

Jackson Arrives in New York to Start Work with Knicks

In 1999, when Phil Jackson started coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, he pulled aside star center Shaquille O’Neal and offered the big man a deal. Do things my way, said Jackson and I can guarantee an NBA Most Valuable Player award. O’Neal was obliging and he won the MVP award earning 120 of the 121 first place votes.

The now retired O’Neal says Jackson is an expert in psychology. O’Neal and Kobe Bryant helped lead the Lakers to five NBA titles giving Jackson 11 as a head coach, a record in the NBA.

Jackson has written seven books and read hundreds. He infuses his teaching of basketball with literature and philosophy. He returns on Tuesday to New York where he once played for the Knicks.

Jackson will be presented today as the new President of Basketball operations for New York. Jackson, who is 68, has given his players books hoping they can extract messages from them.

He introduced the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche the poet, composer and philosopher to O’Neal, in hopes that the problems faced by a player would not change the fun-loving nature of O’Neal.

Jackson once gave The Art of War written by Sun Tzu to Bryant hoping to teach the superstar that leaders are not able to enjoy amenity or special treatment if they want to have the respect of their rank and file.

Last year Jackson said that Carmelo Anthony, the All Star shooting forward for the Knicks, who choose to be a free agent following this season, would benefit if he read Sacred Hoops Jackson’s book written in 1995.

Jackson in that book made a point that his superstar in Chicago Michael Jordan had to foster the atmosphere of team first for his Bulls to be successful. It seemed to work as the Bulls won six championships under Jackson and with the help of Jordan.

Anthony due to what he said was time constraints has not read any books by Jackson, although he is willing to do anything necessary to win.

O’Neal made the suggestion that Anthony needs to find the time to read and digest anything Jackson says he should read.

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