SI.com: It's hard to say Jackson fell short
Phil Jackson and his 11 championship rings are leaving the Lakers after the defending champs were knocked out of the playoffs.
May 9th, 2011
05:53 PM ET

SI.com: It's hard to say Jackson fell short

It probably wasn't the way Phil Jackson hoped to end his run with the Los Angeles Lakers, but don't think for one second that his legacy is tarnished. The 65-year-old coach sat nearly helpless as his team fell apart Sunday night, giving the Dallas Mavericks a four-game sweep. But, as SI.com's Jack McCallum explains, Jackson's impact on the NBA and his accomplishments as a coach are virtually unmatched, despite a lackluster playoff performance by the defending champions.

"We have to assume that this exit is permanent (he swears it is), and so does the 65-year-old Jackson exit having fallen short of his fourth three-peat," McCallum writes. "Of course, using falling short in conjunction with Jackson's career is just wrong, and not just because he stands 6-foot-8 and seemed taller than that when he was walking with two good hips and two good knees. Jackson won 70 percent of his regular-season games and 69 percent of his playoff games, and there is the small matter of his 11 championship rings. That makes him perforce the most successful coach in NBA history (no objective argument to the contrary is possible), and I would argue that he is also the best."

With the Lakers out of title contention, speculation will turn to whether Jackson will stick to the course and exit the NBA for good or parlay his extensive experience to a GM position or other official capacity in the league.

Up tonight:

Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics (7 p.m. ET): At home, the Boston Celtics, sporting an injured Rajon Rondo and Delonte West, will battle the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators (8 p.m. ET): The Canucks, holding a 3-2 series lead, can advance to the NHL's Western Conference final with a win at Nashville tonight.

BY THE NUMBERS

1,000: Number of regular-season wins Mike Scioscia has notched as manager of the Angels.

105: Number of starts it took Sprint Cup driver Regan Smith to notch his first win in the series. He took the checkers at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night.

$150,000: Prize won by 16-year-old Nyjah Huston, who took the Street League skateboarding opener.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. banasy

    Phil Jackson is THE best basketball coach in the NBA's history, IMO. Look what he did with DA BULLS! I shed a tear, I admit, when he left the Bulls.

    Our current coach is quite fabulous, though!!

    May 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Big Game James

    Some say he had ready-made teams. I say he mastered the art of controlling egos.

    May 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    I would say the truth lies somewhere in between, but I think he mastered the art of controlling egos! I know he had a lot of ego massaging to do when he was with DA BULLS towards the end of his tenure there!

    May 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. reality

    Lakers suck

    May 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    Lol.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    Lakers are led by Kobe "The R@pist" Bryant and a bunch of other ho-mo's.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sandyk

    I not too much of a basketball fan, but anybody that follows sports know Phil Jackson was an influencial coach to most of his players and respected in the world of sports.

    May 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jake

    Trade Kobe, Bynum, and Odum out of LA.

    May 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lucky

    phil is going back to montana to smoke weed and hang out with OBL

    May 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    Hi banasy. Hi Joey. If it smells kind of bad, it's just a troll. La la la.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. somebody else

    speaking of bad knees, I cant wait for next season to see that punk bynumnutz get his knees destroyed.

    what a punk. sorry dr. buss, that punk lost you lakers fan.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. tiffany

    Going to miss you Jackson even though I am not a Laker fan, you rock!!!

    May 10, 2011 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. ed Bailey

    Dynasty's come and go.when they go its sad.Bear Bryant comes to mind.MR Jackson you were the tops.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lucky

    AND NOW LETS ALL THANK KOBE AND HIS WIFE FOR SNITCHING ON GASOL JUST LIKE WHEN THEY SNITCHED ON KARL MALONE AND SHAQ NOW THAT EXPLAINS WHY GASOL PLAYED THE WHY HE DID IF KOBE CANT CHEAT ON HIS WIFE THEN NOBODY CAN KEEP WOMEN OUTSIDE THE LOCKER ROOMS

    May 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |