Former New York Knicks president Phil Jackson broke his silence in a rare interview with Steve Kerr and he discussed his year off.
Never at a loss for words, but always selective when it comes to his interviewer, Phil Jackson recently sat down with Steve Kerr and Kit Rachlis of the California Sunday Magazine. The New York Knicks were not the focus, but that won’t stop fans from reading about the Zen master’s whereabouts and activities over the past year.
Among the topics discussed, Jackson and Kerr spoke on the makings of a dynasty and the differences between the modern day athlete and athletes of the past. Sorry fans, no Carmelo Anthony this time.
Both coaches remarked on the transition from a Bob Knight militaristic style of coaching to having speakers come into the locker to speak with players about communication and mindfulness training.
However, most Knicks fans have probably been wondering, where has Phil been? What has he been up to? Jackson did shed some light on the issue.
“Well, I was a resident of Montana for much of the year, but I had a film festival that I was invited to in Rome in October, and I went over there. I called my trip Razor’s Edge. It was a spiritual journey. I wanted to make the most of it, so I took in a lot of Roman Catholic history. I visited the Vatican and lots of churches. Later, I went to Buddhist Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.”
Jackson has always been one to incorporate outside influences into his coaching and prefers to enhance a basketball player’s life and understanding of themselves and not just their talents on a basketball court. He and Kerr went on to discuss some of the things he did in Montana, which surprisingly enough, did not include much watching of basketball, with the exception of the NBA Finals.
“I came back to Montana in mid-March and have been here since. It was an interesting year, a very interesting year. I did things like bake bread. I don’t watch much basketball, but I did watch your team, and I did watch the end of the playoffs, the last two segments of the East and West finals.”
Jackson will always have the allure of the mad scientist who lurks in the shadows, only showing his face, every now and then to remind us of his greatness. But in all honesty, he’s forgotten more basketball than most of know.
Furthermore, Jackson’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing game of basketball and his players was a quality that made him successful for so many years. And despite things not working out with the Knicks, we will always be indebted to Jax for Porzingis and no one can dispute that the man has earned his ride off into the sunset moment.
But for Jackson, his horse looks more like a rocking chair in Montana. If you see him, ask him, How’s it goink?