Video: Phil Jackson explains his ’11 championship rings’ Twitter typo
By Ben Golliver
Legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson joined Twitter on Wednesday, spitting out a typo that led many readers to the obvious punchline: perhaps he shouldn’t type while wearing all of his championship hardware simultaneously.
“11 champ;ipnsikp[ ringhs,” Jackson tweeted.
Turns out, Jackson was just setting up that very joke for himself.
In a clever and cocky viral video ad, Jackson is seen banging away at a keyboard as he composes his first mistake-laden Twitter message. Spinning around in his chair, Jackson reveals two fistfuls of bling and asks rhetorically, “I should take these off, right?” The spot — and Jackson’s Twitter presence — are intended to draw attention to his forthcoming book about his coaching career, titled Eleven Rings: the Soul of Success.
The 2007 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee’s verified account, which bears the handle @PhilJackson11, collected more than 140,000 followers in 24 hours. The image accompanying Jackson’s Twitter account is a photo of his 11 championship rings: Jackson won six coaching Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the 1990s and five more from 1999 to 2010 as coach of the Lakers. He won two additional titles as a member of the 1969-70 and 1972-73 Knicks, but he was sidelined for the entire 1969-70 season due to injury.
Jackson, 67, worked with Hugh Delahanty on the new book, which will be released on May 21.
During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.
This is the story of a preacher’s kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head.
It’s been a fairly quiet few months for Jackson, all things considered. When the Lakers fired coach Mike Brown after just five games in November, Jackson’s name emerged as one of the leading candidates to replace him. Out of coaching since 2011, Jackson met with Lakers executives, who ultimately hired Mike D’Antoni instead. When that dust settled, Jackson’s named was linked in rumors to the Nets coaching job and a possible management position with the Kings franchise, should it relocate to Seattle next season.
Jackson holds a career coaching record of 1,155-485 (.704). In addition to his 11 rings, his Bulls and Lakers teams qualified for the playoffs in all 20 of his seasons on the bench.