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Phil Jackson On Working With Referees

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Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Spokesperson, Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11), is perhaps the greatest basketball coach ever and among the best coaches in the history of American sports. He holds the NBA record of coaching 11 NBA Championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Now a New York Knicks executive, Jackson contributes to PCA’s mission through fundraising activities and event and video appearances. He also wrote the foreword to PCA Founder Jim Thompson's book (@JimThompson18), The Double-Goal Coach®.

In the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to deal with referees. In this short clip, Jackson shares his approach to working with game officials and how he advised his players to do so. Most importantly, Jackson says, the officials are trying to do the best they can, and players should not give them grief.

He describes how at one point during his tenure as NBA coach, the rules about palming, or holding the ball when dribbling, became an issue. He was coaching Michael Jordan at the time and the officials were calling it on him a lot. Jackson’s approach was not to get angry, but to say that they should call it on the best players, along with everyone else, because they will make adjustments. He does not support officials giving license to some players and not others based on their status, and he recommends coaches stay out of the way of referees trying to do their jobs.