Jackson, Phil (Philip Douglas Jackson), 1945–, American basketball player and coach, b. Deer Lodge, Mont. Jackson was an All-American at the Univ. of North Dakota. Drafted by the New York Knicks in 1967, he was a forward and a superb defensive player, remaining with the team until 1980. He then entered coaching, proved to be extremely talented, and rose to become (1989) head coach of the Chicago Bulls. Known for his quiet style, natty courtside attire, philosophical bent, and Zen beliefs, he is extremely successful at motivating, and stimulating teamwork among, disparate players. Jackson coached the Bulls during the team's glory days, directing such superstars as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and leading his team to six National Basketball Association (NBA) championships (1991–93, 1996–98). In 1999 he took over as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. There, working with such extraordinary players as Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, he steered his new team to consecutive (2000–2001) NBA championships. He stepped down as Laker coach in 2004 but the following year he agreed to return as coach. Jackson's books include the autobiography Maverick (1975), Sacred Hoops (1995), and More than a Game (2001).
See D. Whitaker, ed., The Gospel According to Phil: The Words and Wisdom of Chicago Bulls Coach Phil Jackson (1997) and R. Lazenby, Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey (2001).