Phil Jackson Is Getting Absolutely Roasted By Basketball Fans For His Comments On Why He Doesn’t Watch The NBA

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Phil Jackson‘s place in basketball history is a safe as safe can be.

The legendary head coach 11 NBA Championship rings as a coach for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He also has two more as a player with the New York Knicks.

The “Zen Master” also entered the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 2007.

But, somewhat surprisingly, he says he hasn’t watched an NBA game since the bubble playoffs. And he has a strange reason why.

Jackson explained his reasoning on the “Tetragrammation with Rick Rubin” podcast.

“They had things on their back like ‘Justice’ and a funny thing happened like, ‘Justice just went to the basket and Equal Opportunity knocked him down,'” Jackson said to Rubin. “…Some of my grandkids thought it was pretty funny to play up those names; I couldn’t watch that.”

Jackson was talking about league’s decision to allow players to wear select slogans on jerseys following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. He says the decision may have done more harm than good.

“It was trying to cater to an audience or trying to bring a certain audience to the game,” Jackson said, “and they didn’t know it was turning other people off. People want to see sports as non-political. Politics stays out of the game; it doesn’t need to be there.”

The full sound bite can be found below:

Of course, the metrics tend to disagree with Jackson’s assertion. The NBA managed viewership growth in 2022-23 despite ratings declining for television across the board. It also set a new record for attendance league-wide.

Basketball fans didn’t hesitate to let Jackson know their feelings on his comments, either.

The jokes came shortly thereafter.

Jackson has never had an issue with speaking his mind. But he may wish he kept this one to himself.