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Jerry West Despised Phil Jackson Before Being Forced to Offer Him the Los Angeles Lakers Coaching Job: ‘F*** Phil Jackson’

Jerry West, the former Los Angeles Lakers general manager and player who won 11 NBA championships as a player and another 10 as a coach, once said he “wouldn’t touch Phil Jackson with a ten-foot pole.” That’s because in 1979, when Jackson was coaching the Chicago Bulls, he offered West the job of his assistant.

Jerry West was forced to offer Phil Jackson the Los Angeles Lakers coaching job, but he despised him before that. West said F*** Phil Jackson and refused to shake his hand. Read more in detail here: jerry krause net worth.

Phil Jackson is regarded as one of the best NBA coaches of all time. In the 1990s, he helped the Chicago Bulls win six championships before becoming a Los Angeles Lakers icon and winning five more wins for the city. Jerry West is a well-known figure in the, on the other hand, was adamant that Jackson not coach his club during Phil’s tenure in LA.

West, a Hall of Fame player and former Lakers general manager, had many reasons to dislike Jackson. But, in the end, the Logo didn’t have much of a choice when it came to appointing his adversary as head coach.

Phil Jackson was not a fan of Jerry West’s.

Jackson was a tough 6-foot-8 big for the New York Knicks, while West was a great scorer for the Lakers. Over the years, they played each other many times, but none was more memorable than the 1972 NBA Finals. Jackson landed with a reckless elbow as West was going off the floor after one of the games, fracturing the guard’s nose.

Years later, soon after the Lakers dismissed Dennis Rodman in April 1999, Jackson talked to the media. The former Bulls coach said that Los Angeles did not provide his former player with many opportunities to flourish, prompting Jerry West to retort, “Apparently we don’t do things properly.”

West’s hatred for Phil grew throughout the playoffs, according to Jeff Pearlman is a writer who lives in New York City’s Three Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty.

“When questioned about the prospect of employing Jackson after his team’s playoff defeat to San Antonio, West said curtly, ‘F*** Phil Jackson.’”

Jeff Pearlman

West, on the other hand, would have to swallow his pride and bring his foe to Los Angeles.

West didn’t have much of a say in who he hired.

Jerry West and Phil Jackson at separate Los Angeles Lakers press conferences. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Jerry West (L) and Phil Jackson (R). | Todd Warshaw/Allsport | MIKE NELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Even before the turn of the century, Jackson had an impressive resume. He coached Chicago to six championships, the most recent in 1998. But it’s unlikely that West would have chosen Jackson if it hadn’t been for current head coach Kurt Rambis.

After Del Harris was dismissed, Rambis, a former Laker, became the team’s head coach in 1998-99. Rambis guided LA to a 24-13 record in 37 games, but it wasn’t enough to win over his players.

In Three Ring Circus, Pearlman said, “Within a week before the conclusion of the 1998-99 season, [Shaquille] O’Neal made a demand of [agent Leonard] Armato.” ‘Listen, tell [West] I’m not playing for Kurt,’ he stated over the phone. Nobody wants to be a part of Kurt’s team. I’m not playing next year if Kurt is the coach.”

Shaq then provided Armato with a list of potential coaches, one of which was Jackson. Other important players, like as Kobe Bryant and Glen Rice, have stated their desire to play under Jackson. West and the Lakers heeded Jackson’s advice, dismissing Rambis and reaching out to him.

On the phone, West informed Jackson, “We have talent here.” “We simply don’t have enough leadership and maturity. It’s probably not all that different from the situation you found yourself in with the Bulls. This group is prepared.” The Lakers conducted Jackson’s inaugural news conference on June 16, one year and two days after the Zen Master won his final championship with the Bulls, after considerable wrangling.

A championship for the Los Angeles Lakers wasn’t enough to mend West and Jackson’s friendship.

The effects were immediate when Jackson signed a five-year, $30 million contract to coach the Lakers. In his debut season, the Lakers went 67-15 and won the NBA Finals against the Indiana Pacers. After that, the Lakers won the championship in each of the following two years, giving Jackson three more rings to add to his impressive resume. However, success was unable to close the gap between Phil and Jerry.

West said in his book West by West, “So one of the issues I had with Phil was this.” “His office was directly next to mine, and when he came in the morning, he would go straight by without even waving or ducking his head in to say hello.”

“Phil and I didn’t have much in common. None. He didn’t want me around and had no regard for me – I have no question about that.”

Jerry West

During the Western Conference Finals in 2000, one of the most tense moments occurred. West stated that Jackson threw him out of the locker room after a game, telling him, “Jerry, get the f*** out, I’m not done here yet.”

“I know Jerry was wounded in the process because I asked him to leave the room,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. “Things has always been my practice to ask individuals who were outside, particularly trainers and ball guys, if it became intimate or personal.”

West and Jackson had a one-year working relationship. West departed the Lakers in August 2000 after an 18-year tenure as general manager. The Logo’s decision to leave the only franchise he’d ever known was motivated by a variety of factors, including Phil making more money than he did and his coach having no connection with him.

The Los Angeles Lakers became a dynasty thanks to West’s personnel selections and Jackson’s coaching. But don’t hold your breath for a coffee date with the two Hall of Famers anytime soon.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: Phil Jackson Prepared the Los Angeles Lakers for Allen Iverson by Using an Undrafted Rookie

Jerry West despises Phil Jackson before being forced to offer him the Los Angeles Lakers coaching job. F*** Phil Jackson, said West, who was then offered the position of general manager. Reference: jerry krause salary as gm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was Lakers coach before Phil Jackson?

The answer is Jerry West.

Who owned the Lakers before Jerry Buss?

The Lakers were originally owned by Jack Kent Cooke.

How much did Phil Jackson make coaching the Lakers?

Phil Jackson made about $10 million per year coaching the Lakers.

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