NBA TV to Present Phil Jackson: NBA Maverick
Posted Sep 7 2007 7:46AM
NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2007 -- NBA TV will air Phil Jackson: NBA Maverick, a one-hour special celebrating this Hall of Famer’s playing and coaching career, on Friday, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Hosted by Andre Aldridge, the show will air before NBA TV’s live telecast of the 2007 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony from Springfield, Mass., at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Featuring a unique perspective from Charley Rosen, Jackson’s longtime friend and co-author of two books, Maverick (1975) and More Than a Game (2001), this special reveals the basis for the “Zen Master’s” philosophies on life and basketball. The show contains rarely-seen interviews and highlights focusing on:
• “Red Holzman’s Boy” when he was a valuable role player under his mentor with the 1973 NBA champion New York Knicks
• Michael Jordan whom he transformed from an outstanding player into a phenomenal leader resulting in six titles for the Chicago Bulls
• Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, whom he fused together to resurrect the Los Angeles Lakers, culminating with three NBA championships
• His expertise at utilizing old school ways in a 21st century game.
“As far as basketball is concerned, what I think got him was the warrior mentality they went into battle with – ‘It’s a good day to die,’” says Rosen about Jackson who was greatly influenced by Native Americans while growing up in North Dakota and later playing for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. “He felt that was the way you had to approach a basketball game – ‘This is the last basketball game you are ever going to play.’”
While Jackson’s ways may seem odd, they have resulted in an NBA record-tying nine NBA titles as a coach. From Holzman’s devotion to teamwork and communication to Tex Winter’s innovative Triangle Offense to the philosophies outlined in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, he has created a philosophy of success that puts him in an exclusive class with the legendary Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics. When a coach can harness an eccentric personality like Dennis Rodman and make him a key component on an established team featuring Jordan and Scottie Pippen, it proves that he has devised a winning formula.
“He was kind of crazy, but he always came to play and play hard,” says Rosen about Jackson’s view of Rodman. “There was always someone in the tribe who was a backwoods man. He was always considered touched by a devine spirit and you always had to make allowances for that person. That is how Phil perceived Rodman. He was backwards but he appreciated his idiosyncrasies which helped make him the player he was.”
Phil Jackson: NBA Maverick will air prior to the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, which will be simulcast on NBA TV and ESPN Classic. This year’s ceremony also will celebrate the inductions of University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, four-time WNBA championship coach Van Chancellor, the late NBA referee Mendy Rudolph, international coaches Pedro Ferrandiz and Mirko Novosel, and the 1966 NCAA Champion Texas Western Miners.