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“If the general doesn’t panic, the troops don’t panic”: Shaquille O’Neal on Phil Jackson making the list of 15 greatest NBA coaches of all time

Arjun Julka
|Wed Feb 09 2022

Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal gives his flowers to former coach Phil Jackson on making the list of 15 greatest NBA coaches of all time.

Many remember Phil Jackson for his successful stint with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. However, the former coach of the year helped shape the dynasty of the LA Lakers during the Kobe BryantShaquille O’Neal era.

Phil tops the list of NBA coaches with the most no of championships, the Hall of Famer has 11-titles to his credit. Phil played a vital role in shaping the careers of NBA legends like MJ, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal. Phil has three 3-peats as head coach.

The 76-year old has a career record of 429-376, which counts for above 50% winning. Thus in light of the 75th anniversary of the NBA, the league revealed the top 15 greatest coaches of all time, and it was no surprise to find Phil on it. The four-time ASG head coach has given us some of the greatest shows in basketball.

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During a recent segment of NBA on TNT, Shaq gave us an insight into his relationship with Phil and what made the latter one of the best basketball minds.

Shaquille O’Neal reveals what makes Phil Jackson one of the greatest NBA coaches.

Though Shaq had established himself as one of the most dominant players in NBA history, he had a championship ring missing to further his case. The TNT analyst enjoyed great success as a Magic, but it wasn’t until he signed with the Lakers that Shaq was at the peak of his prime.

During his first few years with the franchise, the seven-foot center didn’t enjoy the success he expected. It wasn’t until the arrival of Phil that Shaq was able to tap his actual potential. Phil coached Shaq from 1999 to 2004 as the Lakers head coach.

Big Diesel and Kobe would form one of the most formidable duos in the NBA history. Making four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, the Lakers remain the last team since 2002 to 3-peat in the NBA so far. Shaq was the Finals MVP in each case.

Thus with Phil making the list of the 15 greatest NBA coaches of all time, Shaq would share the lessons he learned from the veteran coach.

“Phil was the one who gave me the blueprint on how to be more dominant than I already was, he gave me the blueprint on how to be a champion. What I loved about Phil was he was a player’s coach. From being with him, I made up the famous quote, ‘If the general doesn’t panic, the troops don’t panic.’ When we were looking for people to bring in and he (Phil) was having problems in Chicago. I went upstairs to Mr. West, we had a great relationship and I said, ‘I want Phil.”‘

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Phil’s ability to predict the bigger picture is what made him an all-time great.


About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

A 26-year-old from Mumbai. A huge Basketball fan who regularly consumes hours of basketball content, be it matches, debates, or analysis. Some of my other interests include CrossFit, watching documentaries, collecting sneakers, and trying out different types of cuisines.

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