2010 NBA Champions: Will Phil Jackson "Three-Peat" for the Fourth Time?
The 2010 NBA Finals are over, and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in 7 games to win their 16th NBA Championship and 2nd consecutive. This is Kobe Bryant’s 5th title and Phil Jackson’s 11th title as a coach.
The Lakers won back-to-back titles. They won the 2009 Championship when they defeated the Orlando Magic in 5 games and completed a repeat when they defeated the Celtics in game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.
This is the 7th time Jackson wonstraight titles as a head coach. When he won his first title in 1991, his team (the Chicago Bulls) won again in 1992 and 1993. The Bulls were eliminated in 1994 and 1995. They came stronger in 1996 and won the championship. They won again in 1997 and 1998. Jackson took a year off in 1999, but returned for the 1999-00 season to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers won the championship in 2000, and again won in 2001 and 2002. The Lakers didn’t win a championship until 2009. They returned to the Finals in 2010, and won back-to-back titles.
We can see a trend here. Every time a Jackson-coached team wins a title for the first time they always seem to repeat the following season. He has done this 7 times. The only other coach to do this is Red Auerbach, who won 8 consecutive titles with the Celtics.
The last team to win back-to-back titles was the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002. Guess who was the coach? That’s right. Phil Jackson. Is it coincidence that the only teams that have repeated since 2000 are Jackson-coached teams? Since the 1979-80 season, we’ve seen 10 repeat champions, 7 by Jackson-coached teams. He is 1 of 2 coaches (Rudy Tomjanovich) to coach their team to straight titles since he won his first in 1991.
After the Lakers won a second straight title, we must ask one question: Will Jackson “three-peat” for the fourth time?
Jackson has 3 “three-peats” as a head coach. His Bulls won in 1991, 1992 and 1993, completing his first “three-peat”. His team repeated the “three-peat” when they won in 1996, 1997 and 1998. His Lakers won in 2000, 2001 and 2002, completing yet another “three-peat” for him. The Lakers won in 2009 and 2010 to complete a repeat, so a third straight title in 2011 is a huge possibility. If Jackson decides to coach the team for the 2010-11 season, it’s likely he will “three-peat”. The upcoming free agency will change the NBA, but I think the Lakers will stay strong for at least another year. Jackson should stay for another year. He has chance to do something special. A fourth “three-peat” will make his case stronger as the greatest coach in NBA history.
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