Phil Jackson is perhaps the greatest coach in NBA history. Jackson, a Hall of Famer and 11-time champion, as well as a two time champion as a player knows a thing or two about the league, so when he makes an observation, one would think people would listen. Of course, in this woke culture, especially where race and sports are concerned, a white guy better not speak out against the narrative. Jackson doesn’t care.
Recently Phil Jackson had the audacity to voice an opinion about the NBA and point out exactly what the sagging ratings have reflected; people are tired of the politics and wokeness. Phil was of course referring to the “bubble” and the 2020 season that featured players putting catch-phrases on their jerseys as opposed to their names, as well as the endless number of political logos (BLM) on the floor.
Jackson claims the league has been catering to a “certain audience” since 2020, and the politics have gotten so pervasive that he doesn’t even watch anymore. His experience and opinion doesn’t sit well with Rose, and the analyst had this to say:
“You can’t make this up.” “Hall of Fame coach and 11-time champion Phil Jackson claims to have stopped supporting the NBA because it became ‘too political’ when it went into the bubble and was catering to certain audiences by putting slogans on the back of jerseys and Black Lives Matter on the floor,” Rose said. “The same Phil Jackson that won championships with some of the greatest Black athletes in the history of the game – Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant. Made millions on their backs and off their sweat equity.”
Everyone in America is entitled to their opinion, even Jalen Rose. However, the former star from Michigan is wrong to imply Jackson would’t have had the success he had without riding on the backs of black athletes like Jordan and Shaq.
Phil Jackson won two titles as a player during his 12-year NBA career. He also was the architect behind some of the greatest teams in NBA history. Jackson was able to make personalities like Shaq and Kobe work together, and Rodman, Pippen, and Jordan as well. Without Phil Jackson, who knows if another coach would have been able to meld all of those talented players into a cohesive winner? It takes more than the talent on the floor. How has LeBron fared in recent years?
Phil Jackson, widely seen as the greatest coach in NBA history, says he doesn’t watch the NBA anymore because of all the political slogans introduced in 2020. He’s not alone in this. My oldest daughter and I used to love watching but it got too political to watch. pic.twitter.com/bV6Sb0qvrK
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 22, 2023
It should also be noted that the players mentioned weren’t playing for minimum wage either, so the “master/slave” inference Jackson is making is offensive at best and downright racist at worst.
When discussing the 2020 pandemic season, Jackson was specifically referring to the BLM logos on the court and the cliche slogans on the backs of the players jerseys. Players that live in gated communities, with 24-hour security details and millions in their bank accounts were complaining about equity, and opportunity. The message simply didn’t resonate with viewers, who were quick to notice the hypocrisy and abandon the product.
Jackson said this about 2020:
“All the teams that could qualify went down there and stayed down there, no audience, and they had things on their back like ‘Justice’ and a funny thing happened,” Jackson said. “They made a funny thing like, ‘Justice just went to the basket and Equal Opportunity just knocked him down.’ My grandkids thought that was pretty funny to play up those names. I couldn’t watch that.”
“It was trying to cater to an audience or trying to bring a certain audience to the game, and they didn’t know it was turning other people off,” Jackson said. “People want to see sports as non-political. Politics stays out of the game. It doesn’t need to be there.”
This isn’t simply Phil Jackson being the old man shaking his fist on his lawn. The ratings prove he is right. The NBA basically hasn’t recovered, while other sports leagues have rebounded after eschewing the mostly false narratives of the destructive Summer of 2020.
Jalen Rose gave some unintended advice that many have followed:
“You’re sitting there watching the game with your grandkids and y’all think it’s funny when justice passes the ball to equal opportunity,” he continued. “When somebody shows you who they are, believe them. So, stop watching … forever.”
Sounds like a good plan, Jalen. At least until the league self corrects with the politics. Oh, and starts calling fouls and not allowing six steps on every drive. I will be back then.
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