It is easy to overlook coaches in the NBA. Players have always received attention because they are the ones working hardest on the floor.
Going back in time, there have been many incredible coaches in NBA history, but few of them have Jackson’s pedigree.
Any squad that Phil Jackson coached could undoubtedly attest to it. Few NBA coaches have had as much success as Phil Jackson.
His greatest claim to fame, despite having played for the New York Knicks in his childhood, is coaching two successful teams during the past few decades.
It’s easy to miss coaches like Phil Jackson since his teams have so many A-listers. The teams he led, though, wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without him. What you need to know about Phil Jackson’s rings and how he acquired them is provided below.
What Number of Rings Does Phil Jackson Own?
Jackson made his NBA debut in 1987 as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls, who were coached by Michael Jordan. In 1989, he was promoted to head coach.
After some adjusting, he embraced Tex Winter’s triangle offense and applied it in a fresh manner. Jackson was able to thrive where so many other coaches failed thanks to the innovative system and his natural ability to connect with well-known athletes like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Michael Jordan.
He became one of the most successful coaches of all time because of it. He excelled in the BSN and the CBA, leading the Albany Patroons to a championship in 1984 and earning coach of the year honors in 1985.
Phil Jackson has 13 rings from NBA championships. His time playing for the New York Knicks is when he earned two of those rings. The other 11 came during his tenures as a coach for the LA Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.
In the years 1970 and 1973, he won his two rings while playing for the Knicks. He won six rings with the Chicago Bulls during the following years:
He won five rings from the LA Lakers over the years:
His coaching career came to an end in 2011. Phil Jackson is the NBA champion with the most NBA titles won to his name.
Does Phil Jackson Possess the Most NBA Championship Rings?
When taking into account the rings he has collected as a basketball player and a coach, Phil Jackson has the most NBA championship rings.
He possesses two rings as a player. He does not hold the NBA record for most rings in that category. Bill Russell, who has 11, and Michael Jordan, who has 6, are ahead of him in the standings.
He doesn’t even rank among the top 10 NBA players in terms of the number of rings. On the other hand, he does hold the record for most NBA rings as a coach.
The rings he received as a coach total 11, not including the rings he received as a player. That is more than any other league coach.
Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics is the next-closest player to that digit. During his playing career, he received nine rings. Red is followed by John Kundla, a five-ring winner as a coach with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs shares third place in that position. Five rings were also won by Pop while coaching.
Pat Riley, who is the coach of the Miami Heat and LA Lakers, is the final coach to tie for third place. As a coach of those two teams, Riley earned five rings.
Was it Possible for Phil Jackson to Win More Rings?
Phil Jackson had some ability as a player, but he lacked the star power that some of the others possessed. At the very end of his playing career, he only began to play more frequently.
Unless his club added a star player, it is unlikely that he would have continued to play and win rings. But there’s a good chance that, as a coach, he could have won more championships.
The 2020 NBA championship was eventually won by the LA Lakers. Maybe the club could have won a few more games under his coaching.
It’s clear from looking back on his coaching career and his ability to lead teams to three-peat victory that he most likely would have won additional rings had he stayed in the position for a few more years.
What Do the Rings of Phil Jackson Look Like?
Rings abound in Phil Jackson’s collection. He received 12 rings total, 11 of which were given to him as a head coach, and just two of them were player rings. The images of some of those rings and the narratives around them are provided here.
1. The New York Knicks’ Championship Rings from the 1970 NBA Season
With the New York Knicks in 1970, Jackson earned his first championship ring. Throughout that match, many firsts occurred.
The NBA Finals were broadcast live and in full color for the first time during this particular series. Outrage also arose when ABC did not broadcast the decisive game.
Instead, only a small number of people at the time were subscribers to MSG Network, where it was shown. It was a close game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers despite the broadcasting disaster.
They had to play a seventh game because of how fierce the opposition was. The Knicks defeated the LA Lakers in the championship game, 4-3, to claim victory.
Jackson played as a replacement in the contest, but he earned his ring alongside the rest of his teammates. The winning ring from 1970 had a basketball on its front.
There is a big white diamond in the middle of the basketball. “NBA World Champions” is written around the ring’s bezel.
The NBA logo, with its customary blue and red background, is displayed on one side of the ring. On either side of the emblem, the year of the title is displayed. Jackson’s name is written on the ring’s reverse side.
2. The 1973 NBA Championship Ring of the New York Knicks
In the 1973 game, the Knicks had a point to establish. They desired to reclaim the championship from the Lakers because they had fallen to them in the previous final.
It didn’t get off to a good start. The Knicks were defeated in the first game by a total score of 115–112. But for the remaining games, they made a great comeback.
They were able to win four straight games and the championship despite dealing with a few injuries. Because of an injury he suffered, Jackson could not take part in the championship game.
He spent the entire season compiling a visual journal of the amazing journey the Knicks undertook to win the championship.
Along with the other players and the management staff, he received a ring. The championship ring he won in 1973 resembles the one he won in 1970 almost exactly. The face and side bearing the NBA logo are identical. The side bearing his name on it is the only distinction.
The Knicks logo is still present, but the numerals that signify the series’ record have changed. To signify their victory over the Lakers in the championship game, it reads “NY 4” and “LA 1.”
3. The 1991 NBA Championship Ring of the Chicago Bulls
When Jackson took over as Chicago’s head coach in 1989, he was determined to lead the team to their first NBA championship.
Michael Jordan also had the desire to see his first NBA Finals. In the end, they were up against the Los Angeles Lakers in the championship game.
The Bulls still hadn’t defeated the Lakers before that point. Magic Johnson, who intended to retire at the end of the season, took part in the match as well.
Jackson used his well-known triangle offense. Instead of having to rely entirely on Jordan to score, it gave all the players more chances to make shots.
It was a successful plan. They overtook the opposition with a flurry. Even though they had lost to the Detroit Pistons multiple times the season before, they played them again.
To prevent themselves from praising the Bulls, some Detroit players even made the historic decision to leave the court with eight seconds remaining.
The Bulls were only stopped from winning the title by the Lakers after they defeated the Pistons. It was a tough battle in the first game.
Prior to tying again, neither team could quite manage to get ahead of the other. Final score: A field goal gave the Lakers a victory in the opening contest.
The Bulls recovered despite suffering an early loss against the Lakers. In the ensuing five games against the Lakers, they would triumph.
This was not just Michael Jordan’s first victory in the NBA, but it was also Phil Jackson’s first victory in that capacity. For the team and management, Jostens created the ring.
The only difference between Jackson’s ring and the players is that on the side of his ring, it says coach rather than a jersey number. It also has his name on it.
At the front and middle of the ring, Jostens decided to affix a huge gold bull. The team’s name was inscribed in the font of their logo between the bull’s horns.
The team’s season record is also listed on the side with Jackson’s name. The gold used to make this ring is 10-karat gold.
4. The 1993 NBA Champion Chicago Bulls Ring
The uncommon three-peat triumph was something Jackson and his group were aiming for. Since the Boston Celtics, nobody had managed to do it.
Chicago had every chance to repeat its success from 1991 to 1992. Jackson kept up the triangle offense and continued to coach his club.
The team still had Michael Jordan on it. Following their participation in the Olympics in Barcelona, he and Scottie Pippen had just returned.
They were ecstatic to win for the third time in a row, despite being exhausted. Phoenix Suns were the group that stood in their way.
The Suns presented little difficulty for the Bulls at first. In the opening two contests, they defeated them. The elbow injury to Charles Barkley contributed to the Suns’ difficulties. It forced him to leave the contest.
However, things weren’t looking good for the Bulls or Jackson by the third game. Although there was strong competition, the game ended in a draw and went into triple overtime.
In the end, it was won by the Suns. In game four, the Bulls came back to win it, and in game five, the Suns repeated the feat. The decisive game was game six.
In order to win this game, Jackson implemented the “Blind Pig” tactic he had been teaching the players. They were able to maintain their lead and remain in the game thanks to it.
John Paxson made a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left and finished with a point. The Bulls gained the advantage and won as a result.
The three-peat had been completed by Jackson and his group. Jostens designed a distinctive ring commemorating that triumph in 1993.
A bull’s head was carved out of a red stone using carving tools.
Diamonds surround it as it is located at the front of the ring. Jackson’s name and the title of coach are printed on the side of the ring. Along with their playoff results, it also includes the championship trophy.
The NBA logo is on the opposite side of the ring, however the bottom of the ring also reads “3-peat.” Additionally, the ring has an emblem with a distinctive three-sided shape.
After 1993, Jordan left the Bulls for a little period of time, and Jackson would have to wait until his comeback to see another NBA championship.
5. The Ring from the Chicago Bulls’ 1996 NBA Championship
Although he technically rejoined the team in the middle of the 1994–1995 season, Michael Jordan’s formal return took place in 1996.
The team has also altered. Jackson has coached a large number of players who had either retired or quit the squad of their own volition.
Jackson had nevertheless put a lot of effort into selecting crucial players who could help the squad win. Dennis Rodman, who had a turbulent and eccentric lifestyle, was one of the most contentious selections.
The Bulls found themselves moving toward the playoffs despite the adjustments. They finished the regular season with 72 victories.
It was the greatest in the league. They faced the Seattle Supersonics as they advanced to the championship round.
At first, the Bulls succeeded by winning three games in a row. With two straight victories in games four and five, the Sonics then reciprocated.
The decisive game would be game six. Rodman’s ability to grab rebound after rebound helped the Bulls win in the end. 87 to 75 were the final results. The team’s coach, Jackson, had taken home his fourth ring.
Four trophies were placed on the front of Jostens’ championship ring to commemorate their quick succession of four titles. White diamonds were used to symbolize the basketball on each trophy.
Jackson’s name and position title as a coach are displayed on the side of the ring. Along with that, it depicts the team’s logo, a drawing of a red bull’s face. The NBA logo and a few other touches may be seen on the ring’s opposite side.
To signify the outstanding achievement the team displayed in 1996, it says “Greatest Team Ever.” The “72 Wins” on the ring additionally symbolizes this. The skyline of Chicago may be seen behind the NBA logo.
6. The LA Lakers NBA Championship Ring from 2000
The Chicago Bulls lost Jackson in the end, in 1998. Multiple other team members, including Michael Jordan, left as a result of this.
Even though Jackson had no intention of coaching again, the Los Angeles Lakers eventually persuaded him to do so. Jackson was able to play alongside a few other A-list athletes when he joined the LA Lakers.
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant replaced the absence of Michael Jordan in his lineup. As soon as he arrived, he started instructing them in the triangle offense.
O’Neal was fast to adjust to it even though Bryant didn’t particularly like it. With the dominant duo of Shaq and Kobe, they would have an amazing season.
They had battled at times during the playoffs prior to the finals, but they persevered to the point where they only needed to beat the Indiana Pacers to win.
In the first game, they jumped out to an early lead. In only this one game, O’Neal scored 43 points. Game two would likewise be dominated by the Lakers.
At this time, Larry Bird, the Pacers’ head coach, attempted to defend Shaq, but he was unsuccessful. A second-game victory would go to the Lakers. Their last match would be game six.
The Pacers had already won two games by that time. It was a close race in game six as well. For a while, they were tied, but Shaq was able to help the squad advance until they had a commanding lead.
Jackson won his first NBA ring while playing for the Lakers, who defeated the Pacers. Their first victory in a very long time included a gorgeous design.
The ring was decorated with diamonds all around the Lakers’ name in the front and center. In addition to using his title as a coach in place of a jersey number, Jackson’s name is on the side of the ring.
“Bling Bling” is a slogan that Shaq used to motivate the squad to victory and is written on the other side of the ring.
On this side, a diamond is used in place of the basketball to represent the trophy. This championship would mark the start of a three-peat winning streak for Jackson and the Lakers.
Phil Jackson has numerous NBA rings, including two that he won while playing and two that he got as a fantastic coach. There is no denying that his coaching tactics and skills were exceptional.
Despite some issues he had with Bryant and some of the managerial personnel, he still had a high winning percentage. His 13 rings are proof of that. Please like, comment on, and share this informative content.