Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside Philippines


Phil Jackson deserves a lot of credits in Bulls' six-title run, says Cone

by Niel Victor Masoy, May 21, 2020 7:12pm

Most fans point to the greatness of Michael Jordan after watching The Last Dance documentary that tackled about the Chicago Bulls' six-title run, with emphasis on their 1997-1998 last championship journey in the NBA.

Some gushed about the perfect backupping role by Scottie Pippen, while others praised Dennis Rodman's perfect portrayal of a role player.

Tim Cone, the winningest coach in the PBA, however, took time to appreciate the man who handled that legendary team in Phil Jackson.

Cone, who implemented and has been implementing the Triangle offensive system which Jackson popularized with the Bulls, said a lot of credit should go to The Zen Master for serving as the glue guy for that Bulls team all throughout.

"You talk about handling personalities, problems with management, problems with players, problems with contracts, and the guy who pulls it out together and keep moving is Phil Jackson himself," said Cone of the Bulls head coach in the Republika Huddle Podcast of NBA Philippines

“If you look at giving one person credit for all of that, it’s got to be Phil Jackson. He was the one who kept Michael believing in his teammates. Even though he had a little run-in with Scottie [Pippen], it happens all the time. He was the one who got it all back together again, got them focused, and moving forward. You have to give him all the credit."

Other than being the rock of that team, Jackson, obviously, led the Bulls to a lot of wins.

Through nine seasons (1989-1998), as Chicago's head coach, Jackson now 74 years old, amassed a regular season record of 545-193, including the Bulls' 72-10 whooping slate in the 1992-1993 season. In the playoffs, Jackson tallied a 111-41 win-loss card.

"The fact that when it was all done and he (Jackson) got everybody together and did the paper and the can burning was again another way of closing the chapter instead of walking away being dissatisfied. They had a sense of ending. They all had a chance to get a rebirth and a new start,” said Cone.

Jackson continued his winning ways even after leaving the Bulls in 1998 as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to seven Finals appearances and five championships.

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