Fast Facts

  • Grew up in a strict Pentecostal home and wasn't allowed to watch movies or TV or read comics; saw his first film when he was 17.
  • Won two North Dakota state basketball championships in high school. 
  • Drafted by the New York Knicks in the second round (17th overall) of the 1967 NBA Draft; spinal-fusion surgery caused him to miss the Knicks' 1970 NBA Championship, but he helped win the title for New York as a backup in 1973.
  • Played for the Knicks until 1978, when he joined the New Jersey Nets as a player-assistant coach.
  • Played in the NBA for 13 years and retired following the 1979-80 season.
  • Coached the Albany Patroons to the 1984 Continental Basketball Association Championship.
  • Became an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls in 1987; promoted to head coach in 1989 and went on to win six titles with the team.
  • In 1992, won the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider award, awarded by the governor to current or former North Dakota residents who have brought honor to the state.
  • Named NBA Coach of the Year in 1996.
  • Joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999 as head coach and won five NBA titles with the team.
  • First coach to ever win 11 NBA titles and the first to win three in a row at three different times (1991-93, 1996-98 and 2000-02).
  • Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Is the author of several books on basketball, including Sacred Hoops, More Than a Game and The Last Season.
  • Retired from coaching following the 2010-11 NBA season.


  • Charley Jackson — Son
  • Maxine Jackson — Ex-wife
  • Elisabeth Jackson — Mother
  • Charles Jackson — Father
  • Elizabeth Jackson — Daughter
  • Jeanie Buss — Fiancée
  • Joe Jackson — Brother
  • June Jackson — Ex-wife
  • Brooke Jackson — Daughter
  • Chelsea Jackson — Daughter
  • Ben Jackson — Son


  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (BA in Religion, Psychology and Philosophy, 1967)


  • Birth Name: Philip Douglas Jackson
  • Birth Place: Deer Lodge, MT
  • Profession: Former NBA coach, Author

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