Phil Jackson’s legacy as an NBA coach was secure long before the 2009 NBA Finals. But in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to their 15th NBA title, Jackson further cemented his place as one of the NBA’s best ever.
On June 14, 2009, the Lakers defeated the Magic in Game 5 to win 2009 NBA title. The championship was No. 10 for coach Phil Jackson, which pushed him past Red Auerbach for most NBA titles as a coach.
After the win, Jackson said, “I’ll smoke a cigar tonight, in memory of Red.” It was Jackson’s fourth title with the Lakers. In 2010, he won his fifth title with the Lakers and 11th overall as a coach.
Jackson’s first six NBA titles as a coach came with the Chicago Bulls from 1991-98. He also won two as a player with the Knicks in 1970 and ’73.