Saturday, October 30, 2010
Phil Jackson fastest to 1,100 wins
By Dave McMenamin
PHOENIX -- It took the Los Angeles Lakers only two games to collect their second win of the season, a 114-106 breezy victory against the Phoenix Suns, but for coach Phil Jackson, the win was a long time in coming.
Jackson became the fifth coach in league history to win 1,100 games, and he did it faster than the other four coaches, needing only 1,560 games to reach the mark (a .705 winning percentage).
"It's kind of overwhelming how many it is," Jackson said. "It took 20 years to do it, almost. It's been a long time."
The achievement is just another feather in Jackson's illustrious cap, with a record 11 championships as a coach, the highest postseason winning percentage in NBA history, and the most wins as a coach for two franchises -- the Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.
This year could be Jackson's final chance to add to that résumé, as he is on a one-year deal with the team and has labeled this season his "last stand."
"I've thought more about his [accomplishments] than mine, actually," Kobe Bryant said. "It's something else, what he's been able to accomplish. I can't think of another coach who's accomplished as much as he has in any sport. It's like John Wooden. It's just been incredible."
Jackson didn't know he was on the verge of the win total until after the game, when he was presented with the game ball in the locker room by a Lakers staffer. Jackson said he plans to donate the ball to a charity group to auction off at some point.
"That's what's makes it fun playing with him and playing for him and being around for it," Lamar Odom said. "This is part of history, so just to be a part of it is special."
Jackson passed Pat Riley (1,639 games) for the feat. Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens are the only other coaches to win at least 1,100 games in the NBA.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.