‘If Jerry is not here, I’m not gonna be here’ Ex-lakers coach Phil Jackson’s thought of kicking West out of locker room turned out to be a massive shock for Shaquille O’Neal

The NBA universe is well aware of the legacy of former Los Angeles Lakes coach, Phil Jackson. He is well known for guiding the Lakers to three consecutive titles. Jackson also saw success with the Chicago Bulls, where he assisted Michael Jordan and company in winning six NBA titles.

At the time, the Lakers included prominent athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Jerry West. As time went on, the atmosphere in the locker room grew more antagonistic. Shaq and Kobe did not get along, and Jerry West of the Lakers was not a fan of Phil Jackson.

Interesting enough, Jackson even ordered West to “get the f*ck out” before kicking him out of the locker room. On the most recent episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq, the former coach himself confessed about the incident! The grimace O’Neal made after learning about the incident was the highlight of the show. Shaq appeared to have been frozen for a short period of time and was completely silent.

Shaq said, “I was on the record of saying that if Jerry is not here, I’m not gonna be here so Jerry was my guy. Jerry was the one who brought me here and I have love and respect for Jerry.” Shaq and Phil got along well, amidst Shaq’s infatuation for Jerry West. O’Neal had advised West to invite Phil Jackson, after all.

“So when he left the Bulls, I told Jerry West, ‘Just get him in here.’ This is Jerry, ‘Well, we don’t want to run the triangle.’ I said just bring him in“, revealed Shaq.

Although Jackson and West shared a sugar and spice relationship, there is no denying that West played a big part in the Lakers’ envious success back then. The trio of O’Neal, West, and Bryant, along with coach Phill, were the best thing to ever happen to the Lakers franchise. If their personal issues led them to titles, then that might have been ‘best for business’ for them!

Zahid Iqbal

395 articles

An auspicious content writer. A dreamer, performer, and achiever with excellent research skills. Passionate for the craft of storytelling. Strong editing capabilities and the ability to produce error-free copy. Experienced in taking ownership of editorial products and interfacing with multiple teams. Know more about me, email - [email protected]


Leave a Comment