Phil Jackson's Best Social Media Moments

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2013

DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers during a press conference after a loss against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It took Phil Jackson a couple of years to secure his first NBA title as a head coach. His ascent to the top of the social media mountain happened in about 30 seconds.

Jackson started out with a deliberately misspelled bang, duping everyone on the Internet with his very first tweet and then letting the unwittingly trolled masses in on the joke with his second.

Right off the bat, it was clear that Jackson was going to be a "must-follow."

Since his social media introduction in March, the 68-year-old has opined on just about everything. Some of his favorite topics have been predictable; of course the NBA's most ring-laden head coach would have thoughts on basketball strategy and officiating.

More surprising, though, have been his notes on the Los Angeles Lakers, pop culture and esoteric literature.

Through it all, Jackson has consistently been honest, clever and also not particularly concerned with the strictures of grammar or spelling. Hey man, he's a free thinker. Who are we to say there's a right way to punctuate a sentence?

Let's dive into the Zen Master's quirky, grammatically-creative pool of social media wisdom.


On the Lakers

If not for some front-office division and a late-night phone call from Mitch Kupchak, Jackson might very well have spent the past 10 months as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. By all accounts, Jackson's potential return to the bench almost happened.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, Jackson didn't get the job. Fortunately for everyone following him on Twitter, he routinely offered opinions on his former team throughout the season.

When Kobe Bryant went down with a torn Achilles, Jackson piped up.

That's vintage Jackson material, by the way. Those tweets were thoughtful, gave a clear understanding of the "big picture" and, most importantly, tinged with some new age-y ideas about the unpredictability of the future.

After the Dwight Howard fiasco drew to a merciful close, Jackson chimed in to clarify a few things, sticking it to the media, the Lakers and D12 with a couple of tweets.

If you're keeping score, that's an overt shot at an erroneous report and a subtle one at the Lakers, who didn't take advantage of Jackson's ability to sway Howard's opinion.

And then he zinged Howard directly.

Nicely done, Phil.


On Hoops, Generally

Jackson bombarded his followers with tons of March Madness tweets, educating them on things like the agrarian origins of Wichita State's mascot:

That's important stuff, people.

Of course, he also weighed in on the officials—both colorfully and more directly.

And when criticism of Jackson's beloved triangle offense cropped up over the summer, he took the opportunity to lampoon what—in his mind—was the uninventive, excuse-oriented NBA culture that has led to its demise.

You tell 'em, coach.


Social Conscience, Pop Culture and Miscellanea

At his core, Jackson is a deep thinker and a compassionate person. And although you wouldn't need those traits to understand that the Washington Redskins' logo is overtly offensive—a brain is really all you need for that—Jackson was among the many outspoken critics who decried the nickname.

From one hot topic to the next, Jackson proved his ability to keep up with current trends. It's unclear how he managed to find out from his homestead in Montana, but when Kendrick Lamar claimed that he couldn't be coached and invoked P-Jax's name in his verse on "Control," the savvy sideline stalker had a ready retort.

Maybe it's just me, but I can never get enough of Jackson's polite, understated condescension. That was a master class in "you'll understand when you're an actual adult" patronization.

And if you're interested in the breadth of Jackson's musical interests, consider the following:

Yep, from Lamar to Freddie Mercury, Jackson's got his finger on the sonic pulse.

But he's a reader, too. Check out his latest literary recommendations from the "Spiritual" section.

Always an unconventional thinker, Jackson has used his Twitter feed to reach a whole new audience with his unique perspectives. If you're interested in reading about the finer points of the triangle offense, he's the guy to follow. Of course, if you're looking for a few good books on Taoism, he's a good choice for that, too.

Jackson took everyone to school with his first two tweets. Chances are he'll continue to administer lessons as we follow him into the future.


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