In an exclusive sit-down with Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak, New York Knicks President Phil Jackson comments on a few essential aspects of the game today.
On the Hack-a strategy
The legendary coach expressed his concern on the way Don Nelson’s Hack-a strategy is being overused in the NBA today. According to Jackson, it totally destroys the dynamics of the game itself.
“Benefiting from committing those types of fouls is not true to what the game should be,” Jackson added.
To remedy this concern, Jackson has two things in mind. First, big guys will have to improve on their freethrow shooting. However, given that players with extremely huge hands will always have a problem doing so, a rule should implemented.
The Knicks leader suggests that “any foul that’s not committed in the context of a basketball play should be the two free throws plus possession.”
On uncalled illegal picks
Although it is widely known that the 11-time champion coach is not a fan of how fouls are called, he gives special attention to the screens being set today. He shared that players who set picks get away with a lot of illegal contact such as using their arms and hands as well as using their feet at times to get rid of the defensive guy.
“The refs have to stop giving screeners such unfair advantages,” he emphasized.
On the triangle offense today
When asked about the ineffectiveness of the triangle offense in today’s context, the Zen Master simply explained that the players today lack the skill to play the triangle. This offensive set-up has given Jackson the most rings acquired by an NBA coach.
But today, it has not been doing very well.
According to him, today’s guys don’t really have a good grasp of five-on-five basketball. Sure they are great one-on-one, they have superb handles, and everyone can shoot treys. However, for Jackson, this new breed of ballers don’t have great fundamentals and basic footwork. Plus, they don’t have a good sense of timing and organization.
Although away from active coaching duties in the NBA, Phil Jackson has continued to become a fan of the game. Many players and coaches would look up to him as a master. But for the man himself, he is a perpetual student of the craft.
The game has changed a great deal. His trademark offensive set-up might not work as well today but people from the league can definitely learn a thing or two from his wisdom.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons