Every team’s goal: To win an NBA championship. However, every team implements different strategies that they believe will give them the best opportunity to obtain that coveted championship ring. Earlier in the year, the New York Knicks hired long-time coach and former Knicks player Phil Jackson as the new president in an effort to change the culture in their organization. Over his extremely successful coaching career, Jackson has garnered the nickname ‘Zen Master’ which is due to the fact that he is a believer in Eastern philosophy and is certain that the mind can be a powerful tool in gaining a competitive edge over the opponent. He has brought this mentality to the New York Knicks and has the team undergoing “mindfulness training.”
On Sunday at the New Yorker Festival in Manhattan, Jackson said, “This mindfulness is about sitting still and being quiet and controlling your breath and allowing you to be in the moment, and yet it’s so vital for a team to have this skill or players to have this skill. To be able to divorce themselves from what just happened that’s inherent to them — a referee’s bad call, or an issue that goes on individually or against your opponent. You’ve got to be able to come back to your center and center yourself again.”
Being an ex-player with the Lakers under Jackson, newly appointed head coach Derek Fisher has not been hesitant in listening to Jackson’s unique ideas as he has gone through this “mindfulness training” himself and has full faith in the ‘Zen Master’. Fans should remain hopeful because if history is any sign of what’s to come, then the New York Knicks should be just fine under 11-time championship-winning coach Phil Jackson.