Phil Jackson’s Best One-Liners

He wasn't just a master of X's and O's.

mike-olsonby mike-olson

phil jacksonPhil 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

kobe bryantTarget: 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

Target: Memphis, Tennessee
Date: December 2005
Reason: He was just being honest, really.
Quote: “It’s like Dresden after the war.”
Snark Level: 10 out of 10

Target: Mormonism
Date: June 1997
Reason: Phil was defending Dennis Rodman, who had just earned the highest fine in NBA history for insulting the Jazz’s Mormon fans.
Quote: “To Dennis, a Mormon may just be a nickname for people from Utah. He may not even know it’s a religious cult or sect or whatever.”
Snark Level: 6 out of 10

Target: Boston Celtics
Date: June 2010
Reason: Phil’s speech during a team huddle was caught by ABC cameras.
Quote: “They know how to lose in the fourth and they are showing us that right now.”
Snark Level: 9 out of 10

Target: The fans of Oklahoma City
Date: March 2009
Reason: Just cause
Quote: “They haven’t really figured out the NBA game, the length of it. They get all fired up in the beginning, and it’s a marathon. It’s not like college where you can come out and get a 15-point lead and you can win the game.”
Snark Level: 8 out of 10

lebron jamesTarget: Miami Heat
Date: March 2011
Reason: Some Heat players were caught crying in the locker room after a one-point loss.
Quote: “This is the NBA: No Boys Allowed. Big boys don’t cry. But, if you’re going to do it, do it in the toilet where no one can see.”
Snark Level: 7 out of 10

Target: Vladimir Radmanovic
Date: December 2006
Reason: Vlad wasn’t living up to a new five-year, $30.2 million contract.
Quote: “He’s a space cadet. He could be on Mars. He’s one of those guys that you go like, ‘Do you understand really what we’re trying to get accomplished here?'”
Snark Level: 9 out of 10

Target: Kevin Durant
Date: April 2010
Reason: To psyche out Kevin Durant.
Quote: “He gets to the line early and often. As far as the calls that he gets on the floor, I think a lot of the referees are treating him like a superstar.”
Snark Level: 5 out of 10

Target: New York Knicks
Date: June 2012
Reason: Phil was asked by HBO’s Real Sports if he would want to coach the franchise.
Quote: “There’s just too much work that needs to be done with that team. It’s a little bit of a clumsy team…Carmelo has to be a better passer. The ball can’t stop every time it hits his hands.”
Snarkiness Level: 4 out of 10

Target: Orlando, Florida
Date: February 2000
Reason: To piss off Magic fans.
Quote: “If you want a plastic city like Orlando that has warm weather and golf courses, that’s fine. But if you want a city that has meat and grist to it and has a culture, Chicago has it.”
Snark Level: 7 out of 10

Target: The NBA owning the New Orleans Hornets
Date: December 2010
Reason: Phil can see into the future.
Quote: “Who’s going to trade who to whom? Who’s going to pull the button when Chris [Paul] says he has to be traded? How’s that going to go? I don’t know. Somebody’s going to have to make a very nonjudgmental decision on that part that’s not going to irritate anybody else in this league. I don’t know how they’re going to do that.”
Snark Level: 5 out of 10