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Phil Jackson – 1972-’73 Topps #71

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Philip Douglas “Phil” Jackson  (born September 17, 1945) is a retired American professional basketball coach and former player. Jackson is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association. His reputation was established as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 through 1998; during his tenure, Chicago won six NBA titles. His next team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won five NBA titles from 2000 to 2010. In total, Jackson has won 11 NBA titles as a coach, surpassing the previous record of nine set by Red Auerbach. He holds the record for the most championships in NBA history as a player and a head coach, after breaking the tie with Bill Russell when the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2009 NBA Finals. Jackson was a player on the 1970 and 1973 NBA champion New York Knicks. In 1996, as part of celebrations for the National Basketball Association’s 50th anniversary, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history.
In 1967, Jackson was drafted in the second round by the New York Knicks. While he was a good all-around athlete, with unusually long arms, he was limited offensively and compensated with intelligence and hard work on defense. Jackson eventually established himself as a fan favorite and one of the NBA’s leading substitutes. He was a top reserve on the Knicks team that won the NBA title in 1973. Jackson missed being part of New York’s 1970 championship season due to spinal fusion surgery; however, he authored a book entitled “Take It All,” a photo diary of the Knicks’ 1970 Championship run. Soon after the 1973 title, several key starters retired, creating an opening for Jackson in the starting lineup. In the 1974-75 NBA season, Jackson and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Bob Dandridge shared the lead for total personal fouls, with 330 each. Jackson lived in Leonia, New Jersey during this time. After going across the Hudson in 1978 to play two seasons for the New Jersey Nets, he retired from play in 1980.

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