EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Phil Jackson showed up for the first day of his final NBA playoff run in a plaid shirt and khaki shorts, leaning on a walking stick.
The most successful coach in league history looked a bit like a hiker, or maybe a shepherd — a role Jackson has filled with unparalleled skill during the past 22 years with the Bulls and Lakers.
The walking stick subtly underlines the 65-year-old former Knicks forward’s nagging mobility problems, which are among several reasons he can’t wait to retire this summer.
But Jackson has plenty of energy for the final task on his career to-do list. He returned for one last season in Los Angeles to win his 12th NBA title with an unprecedented fourth threepeat.
Win or lose, Jackson insists he’s done for good.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)