The New York Yankees’ David Robertson described the experience of pitching to Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez as “like hearing your grandfather talk sometimes.”
It Was Like Hearing Your Grandfather Talk Sometimes is a quote from Phil Jackson, former coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. The quote reflects how much he loved coaching basketball. Read more in detail here: when did phil jackson retire as a coach.
The Los Angeles Lakers had two great periods that were extremely close in time. Between 1979 through 1991, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Pat Riley were instrumental in bringing five championships to Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2002, the ‘Three-peat’ period saw Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Phil Jackson win three straight championships for the Purple and Gold.
The intermission era, on the other hand, is often overlooked when studying Lakers history. At The Forum in the 1990s, players like Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, and Cedric Ceballos were putting up baskets. Between Riley and Jackson, they had a total of six different head coaches, one of them was the charming but chatty Del Harris.
After Showtime, Del Harris restored stability to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaquille O’Neal receives a high-five from Los Angeles Lakers coach Del Harris (L) (R). | AFP/MIKE NELSON/Getty Images
Showtime’s run in Los Angeles came to an end after more than a decade of continuous success. Magic retired in 1991, one year after Riley stood down as coach, after testing positive with HIV. The Lakers won 43, 39, and 33 games over the following three seasons, with four coaches spending time on the bench. Harris was appointed before of the 1994-95 season following an unsuccessful trial with Johnson as head coach.
Harris formerly served as the head coach of the Houston Rockets and the Milwaukee Bucks. In seven of his eight full seasons, he reached the playoffs, but only once did he lead his club beyond the conference semifinals. Harris, on the other hand, stepped in right away to help LA reclaim its relevance.
The Lakers experienced a 15-game turnaround in Harris’ first season, finishing 48-34 and progressing beyond the first round for the first time since 1991. As a consequence, for the first and only time in his career, he was awarded NBA Coach of the Year. Los Angeles won 53 games the next season, their most since 1991. The Lakers won 56 and 61 games in each of the following two seasons when O’Neal and Bryant joined before of the 1996-97 season. However, their finest finish was a four-game defeat in the Western Conference Finals against the Utah Jazz in 1998.
Harris was loved by the Lakers as a person, but his continuous talking was too much for them.
Harris wanted to share as much as possible since he had a lot of expertise and a youthful staff ready to learn. And communicate he did, frequently to the detriment of whatever attention he received from his teammates.
Harris would speak about commitment, shot selection, his upbringing, coaching the Rockets, his wife and kids, his least favorite restaurants, and so much more, as documented in Jeff Pearlman’s book Three Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty. Normally, everything is done in one meeting. It’s one of the reasons he was known as ‘Dull Harris’ even before joining the Lakers.
Former Laker Corie Blount told Pearlman, “There are long-winded individuals in this society.” “However, Del takes it to a new level. Nobody is fond of him. Basketball players, on the other hand, desire to play. And Del wants to talk about every possible method to open up. Then go through the topic again.”
Van Exel, who joined the Lakers a year before Harris, remarked, “I really like Del.” “However, the sessions were not brief.”
“Sometimes it was like hearing your grandpa speak,” O’Neal said.
Former NBA coach Brendan Suhr said, “Chuck Daly had a phrase when he coached the [Detroit] Pistons.” “He’d tell me, ‘You have to learn to communicate in sound bites to the players.’ On a press defense, Del would talk for 45 minutes. Chuck could finish it in under 30 seconds.”
The Lakers were resurrected by Phil Jackson, who led them back to championship glory.
Phil Jackson coached some of the world’s greatest NBA players.
With the Bulls, he won six championships, and with the Lakers, he won five. pic.twitter.com/ETbUIDsPZa
April 20, 2020 — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)
Harris’ stint was far from a flop. Los Angeles has reached the playoffs in four consecutive seasons under his guidance, going no lower than 48-34 and winning four playoff series. The lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, on the other hand, got off to a poor start, with LA going 6-6 to begin the season. Harris’ employment was lost as a result of the downturn.
“We weren’t living up to our full potential, and we needed to change,” stated Jerry West, the former general manager of Three Ring Circus. “But that’s not to say Del wasn’t a great guy. He certainly was. The coach and the man. “Every now and again, you simply need a new look.”
The Lakers rescued their season by finishing 31-19 and advanced to the Western Conference playoffs thanks to interim head coach Kurt Rambis. Phil Jackson was brought into the fold following another playoff defeat.
Phil was able to get the best out of his players almost immediately. He had a very different communication and leadership style than Harris, but it paid off handsomely. In 1999-00, the Lakers went 67-15 and won their first championship since Showtime in 1988. The next two seasons concluded with two more championships, giving Jackson a total of nine rings as a head coach. After being fired, Harris worked as an assistant coach for three NBA teams, but he never earned a ring of his own.
Del Harris eventually played a major part in the Lakers’ return to championship form. But, with a little more editing, he could have been the coach who led them to the promised land.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
RELATED: Phil Jackson Prepared the Los Angeles Lakers for Allen Iverson by Using an Undrafted Rookie
The nba is a basketball league that has been around for decades. It was like hearing your grandfather talk sometimes, but now it’s up to you to keep it going.
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