Phil Jackson, the son of Pentecostal preachers in Montana, has won more championships than any other coach in American professional sports history. Jackson is also a student of philosophy, a practicing Buddhist and follower of Lakota Sioux spiritual traditions, and is insatiably curious about everything. He’s dropped acid, smoked weed, and given his millionaire players instructional manuals like Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior. “He’s made up of a million different things,” says Millerton resident and veteran sportswriter Peter Richmond, whose Phil Jackson: Lord of the Rings (Blue Rider Press, 2013) plumbs the depth of the enigmatic big man who won two NBA titles as a player, started his coaching career with the Albany Patroons, and led a Zen basketball workshop at the Omega Institute for many years. Richmond charts the improbable rise of the counterculture seeker through the professional coaching ranks and attempts to deconstruct Jackson’s outsized success.
Peter Richmond will give a talk and sign copies of Phil Jackson: Lord of the Rings at Oblong Books & Music in Millerton on January 18 at 6pm. (518) 789-3797; Oblongbooks.com.
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