‘Eleven Rings:’ Phil Jackson savors beating the Celtics in 2010
Phil Jackson won 11 titles as an NBA coach, but the Lakers’ victory in seven games over the Boston Celtics in 2010 stands out as his favorite.
“For me, this was the most gratifying victory of my career,” writes Jackson in his upcoming book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.”
“It had been a trying season marred by inconsistency and troublesome injuries, but in the end the players were a study in courage and teamwork,” the Lakers’ former coach said.
Jackson and the Lakers fell in 2008 to the Celtics in the NBA Finals. The team rebounded in 2009, defeating the Orlando Magic for their fourth title in the Jackson era.
The Lakers overcame a 3-2 deficit in 2010 before winning the final two games over the Celtics at Staples Center.
“Beyond the thrill of capturing another ring, there was something deeply satisfying about putting the Celtics’ curse behind us with a triumphant victory in our own house,” writes Jackson in his memoir (written with Hugh Delehanty for Penguin Press, and available on May 21).
“I was moved to see Pau [Gasol] overcome the ‘softie’ stigma that had haunted him for two years and [Derek Fisher] fight back after being torched by Ray Allen,” Jackson said. “It was also endearing to watch [Metta World Peace] mature and play a key role in containing [Paul] Pierce, then make all the right shots just when we needed them.”
The Lakers have yet to return to the NBA Finals. Jackson is no longer coaching but is believed to be looking for a basketball operations position in the league. It’s unclear if he’ll make another return to the sidelines.
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Email Eric Pincus at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.
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