NBA's Phil Jackson Should Teach, Not Coach

Monday, 16 May 2011 09:17 AM

By Jon Friedman

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Dear Phil Jackson: I have admired the way you carry yourself since your glory days as a member of the New York Knicks.

I fondly remember those two free throws you sank on Easter Sunday to help beat the hated Celtics. I'm sure you do, too. I've watched you become a world-class coach, motivator, and teacher.

Only you could have taught Michael Jordan to pass the ball to John Paxson in game five of the 1991 Finals, and showed Shaq and Kobe the benefits of detente.

Now, you have apparently reached the end of the line in NBA coaching. Good for you! Let it go!

I hope you will embark on a whole new path: teaching, perhaps at the university level, or in high school. My point is that you have a lot to offer developing minds about how to win (gracefully and lose the same way, despite the antics of Laker sore losers Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum in the 2011 playoffs); how to compete; how to prepare for victory; and how to have a life away from the basketball court (though I would suggest that you refrain from putting your great but controversial memoir "Maverick" on the reading list)

Why coach again? Been there, done that. Can you really feel fulfilled sitting back in Montana and clipping coupons while listening to "Blonde on Blonde"?

Give a call to USC or UCLA. Tell them you're available to teach in the sociology department, the career path you planned for yourself once upon a time. You'd be doing the students and yourself a big favor.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for Click here to read his latest column.

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