El Segundo, June 14 -- The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Phil Jackson as head coach, it was announced.
In his last stint as head coach Jackson guided the Lakers to four NBA Finals appearances in five years spanning from 1999-2004. Under Jackson, the Lakers became only the third team in NBA history to earn three consecutive NBA Championships (2000, 2001 and 2002).
“We’re very pleased to have Phil return to the Lakers as our head coach,” said Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. “His record speaks for itself and his success in this sport is unparalleled. Quite simply, Phil is the best coach in the business and probably the greatest coach of all time. We feel that he is the best person to lead this team and hope that he will be able to lead us back to the point of being a championship-caliber team.”
In fourteen seasons as a head coach in the NBA, Jackson has guided his teams to nine NBA Championships, tying him for first with Red Auerbach. Jackson has a career record of 832-316 which ties Cotton Fitzsimmons for 10th all-time in career victories. Jackson’s .725 winning percentage ranks first all-time in the NBA (832-316). As the head coach of the Lakers, Jackson compiled a regular season record of 287-123. Jackson’s .700 winning percentage ranks him 2nd all-time in Lakers history behind Pat Riley (.733). Additionally, Jackson ranks first all time in NBA postseason history with a .717 winning percentage (175-69).
Jackson first joined the Lakers on July 16, 1999 after a one-year sabbatical from coaching which followed 12 incredibly successful seasons with the Chicago Bulls, the last nine (1990-1998) coming as Chicago’s head coach. In his nine years as the head coach of the Bulls Jackson led Chicago to championships in 1991,1992,1993,1996,1997, and 1998 and compiled a regular-season record of 545-193. He reached 200 career victories faster than any coach in NBA history, accomplishing the feat after only 270 games.
Jackson’s first head coaching job was with the Continental Basketball Association’s Albany Patroons, where he coached from 1982-1987. Jackson led the Patroons to the 1984 CBA Championship and was also named the CBA’s Coach of the Year in 1985. He is the first person to win championships as a head coach in both the NBA and CBA.