CHICAGO – It appears that the “Zen Master” saved his best for “The Last Dance.”
In the final episode of ten-part series on the Chicago Bulls 1990’s dynasty, it was revealed how head coach Phil Jackson decided to run his final team meeting with the group that won six championships.
As with a lot of his coaching philosophies, it had a spritual feel.
Jackson asked players to write down what the team means to them and bring it to the final meeting of the team after they won a sixth championship. After each player read their statement, it was placed into a coffee can and was burned.
During “The Last Dance,” Jackson credited the idea to his wife, who was a social worker.
“She was part of a group that went into to help people that were grieving. One of the things they did was a ritual in which they kind of put things to rest,” said Jackson.
Each player complied with the request during the meeting, most famously Michael Jordan. Per Steve Kerr, he stood up and read a poem he’d written about the sixth and final championship season for the dynasty.
“I’m not a poet, I just spoke what I felt at the time. We’re always going to be bonded,” said Jordan of the poem he read to teammates. “You say ‘Thanks for the past, enjoy the moment, let’s make sure we end it right.'”
They were able to that both on and off the court in 1998.