Charley Rosen, Phil Jackson’s confidant, blasted Jeff Van Gundy for minimizing the triangle’s effect on the Bulls and Lakers combining for 11 championships during the Zen Master’s reign.
Rosen, who published Jackson’s unofficial player-by-player scouting report on the Knicks that pulled no punches, said Van Gundy is off base on his history. Van Gundy said Wednesday that players win titles, not systems, and believes the Bulls and Lakers could have won with any system.
“I think he’s full of crap to tell you the truth,” Rosen, who also co-wrote Jackson’s autobiography and was an assistant coach under him in the CBA, told The Post. “If they would’ve won without the triangle, why didn’t they win before he got there? Michael Jordan and Scottie [Pippen] were in Chicago before Phil, and Kobe [Bryant] and Shaq [O’Neal] played together before Phil. And what about that season when Jordan was playing basketball and the Bulls would’ve made the Finals if not for the terrible call by Hue Hollins (in the 1994 playoffs). Without a superstar, that was the best triangle has ever been run.”
Oh yea! Take that Van Gundy! You’ve been triangled! If you take a shot at the King, you best not miss. What were you trying to prove? Every team Phil has ever coached has won. I get what Van Gundy was saying, that you need great players to win championships, but the thing about the NBA is that coaches put the teams over the edge. It takes a special kind of coach to win titles. Jeff Van Gundy was a great coach himself, but he never was able to take his teams over the hump, and he had great players. Phil can get his players there. He can take the Knicks there. With Derek Fisher there’ll be some growing pains but the stars are aligning for the Knicks. The salary cap is going up and we’ve been drafting well. We’ve got a Superstar in the prime of his career. The east is weak and we have Phil god damn Jackson. You don’t mess with Jackson. Watch your back Van Gundy, the whole triangle is after you.
BTW- Jeff Van Gundy was actually the guy I wanted to replace Woodson back in February, before Jackson came in. The only thing Van Gundy had on Jackson was that he would be coaching, but in the long run, Phil is the better choice. So suck on that Van Gundy.