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Departing Jackson Should Never Look Back

AP Photo

The first time a telephone call convinced Phil Jackson to reconsider his thinking on a coaching job, the team executive had fed coins into a pay phone inside an American Legion Hall in Lima, Ohio. Jim Coyne had a losing team and sagging attendance with the Albany Patroons in the winter of 1983, and ultimately sold the freshly retired New York Knick on his bush-league beginnings in the Continental Basketball Association.

“Had I not made [the call], who knows where his path would’ve taken him?” Coyne once told me.

For all the van rides to Bangor, the last-chance characters on his Patroons roster, the end of the greatest coaching career in NBA history had to feel strangely like his beginnings in the old Washington Street Armory. From Read Full Article »

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