Barkley: Phil Jackson Is “Definitely Gone.” Maybe

Charles Barkley is a very entertaining man, unquestionably one of the best in sports television. He’s not very good in print, though, as evidenced by his latest column for the LOS ANGELES TIMES: a meandering, muted, disjointed collection of thoughts about the NBA.

Kobe and Phil
(”Okay, Kobe, on the inbounds pass, you… you’re not listening, are you? Fine. You go to the arcade and punch a hobo. I’ll get some lobsters and attach them to my nipples. Escalator hedgehog banana. Good talk. I want to quit.”)

One note tucked into the article, though, was something that most NBA fans had probably begun to suspect as the “Kobe Bryant pretends to be the coach” scenes became more prevalent over the course of the playoffs (though ‘Zo broke it first): Phil Jackson’s just on cruise control. To that, Barkley says Phil’s very, very, very gone… maybe:

I don’t know if he’s the greatest coach of all time, but Phil Jackson is in the conversation. I mean, you win 10 championships — that’s pretty impressive. But I don’t think he’s coming back. Phil’s done. I just think he’s had enough. He’s definitely gone. That’s just my opinion, though.

Just a quick recap: if something is definite, it’s a fact. You can’t say, “this is a fact, but that’s just my opinion.” They’re diametric opposites.

Wordnerding aside, Barkley’s right. Phil Jackson, or should we say Thrill Jackson!*, now has 10 championships, or “one for each thumb.” He has thus passed the great Red Auerbach for the all-time NBA mark, meaning there probably isn’t much left for him to prove. Sure, he could take on a reclamation project and see if he can win a title without MJ/Shaq/Kobe in their respective primes… or he can say, “the hell with it, I’m getting old” and go out on the highest note possible.

As for the rest of Barkley’s advice, well, perhaps he should stick to television; for example, this was an entire paragraph and wasn’t expanded upon at all:

A lot of stuff is going to happen around the league. The Boston Celtics have got to figure out the Kevin Garnett situation.

Thanks, buddy. Boston had no intention of “figuring out the Kevin Garnett situation” until now. Way to bring it to the forefront. Way to keep Celtics GM Danny Ainge honest. Nice work.


*Actually, no; we’ve just been informed that Phil Jackson is, in fact, not a thrill. Our apologies.