Phil Jackson’s Best One-Liners

Phil Jackson joined Twitter recently. And while he isn’t the Tweet Master just yet, The Zen Master is the undisputed king of the pot shot. Here’s a look at the most glorious insults, quips and one-liners Phil Jackson dished out over his career.

Target: Jeff Van Gundy

Date: February 2000

Reason: As part of their war of words, Van Gundy had called Phil “Big Chief Triangle.” (Phil’s nickname for JVG? Jeff Van Gumby.)

Quote: “Coaches should not be on the court, but the little coaches they let run on the court because they don’t see them.”

Snark Level: 9 out of 10

Target: Sacramento, California

Date: November 2000

Reason: Phil had enough of the rowdy fans in that year’s Western Conference playoffs.

Quote: “We’re talking about semi-civilized in Sacramento. Those people are just redneck in some form or fashion. That’s their team, their game, the one game in town. What else do they play? Picking fruits and vegetables?”

Snark Level: 8 out of 10

Target: Peak sneakers

Date: January 2010

Reason: Ron Artest came down with plantar fasciitis in both feet after wearing the Chinese kicks.

Quote: “I’ve called his shoes concrete blocks for about the last month. [They] look like they’re made for the Hudson River. But he sticks with ’em.”

Snark Level: 9 out of 10

Target: CSI

Date: November 2009

Reason: An injured Pau Gasol made a cameo on the hit show.

Quote: “I never watched it before. I can’t believe people actually watch that stuff. I told Pau to keep his night job.”

Snark Level: 7 out of 10

Target: Craig Sager

Date: Every time

Reason: Wouldn’t you?

Quote: “I didn’t recognize you right away. I thought you were the Good Humor ice cream man standing over there on the sideline.”

Snark Level: 10 out of 10

Target: Kobe Bryant

Date: October 2004

Reason: Phil was trying to sell his new book, The Last Season: A Team in Search of its Soul.

Excerpt: “I won’t coach this team next year if he is still here. He won’t listen to anyone. I’ve had it with this kid.”

Bonus Kobe Retort: “I’d rather read Lord of the Rings in one day. You know what I’m saying? But I wish him all the best with his book.”

Double Snark Level: 7 out of 10

Target: Kobe Bryant (yep, again)

Date: March 2011

Reason: Phil knows who the best player in history was.

Quote: “Stop comparing anyone to Michael Jordan. It’s just not fair. Kobe has patterned himself after Michael and there are a lot of identical things there. But it’s one thing to hope to be like him, it’s another thing to be like him.”

Snark Level: 6 out of 10

Target: 1994-95 Houston Rockets

Date: December 2010

Reason: Phil was asked if the Bulls would have won the Rockets’ two rings if Michael Jordan had been playing.

Quote: “Definitely. Without a doubt. Clearly, if the Bulls were whole, we would have won. It’s pretty much registered by now. When Michael played, we won championships.”

Snark Level: 7 out of 10



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