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Six ways of reading Phil Jackson's tweet about the Knicks coaching search

Phil Jackson's tweet this afternoon explains -- or at least puts in vague philosophical terms -- the principles he holds dear. A normal, reasonable reading and a bit of research might give you a sense of what Phil felt was missing under Derek Fisher's leadership, and what he is looking for in the next head coach. However, Jackson mentions there being a "clue" in his message, so a normal, reasonable reading is not appropriate here. Let's look more closely.


It's a cipher. Look:


Holy shit!!! I loved Annie Hall, but I dunno, Phil.


Phil mentions several numbers, so perhaps they are the key to solving the next Knicks head coach. In order, Phil evokes the following numbers:


It doesn't take more than a few seconds with these numbers stretched out like that to figure out exactly what's going on in Phil's head: He's going to hire former New York Knick Bob Anderegg to coach the current squad. You see, Anderegg only played for the Knicks in 1960, which research tells me was the first year of the "60s." Additionally, Jackson tells us to "look up" two things. The first is his book, "Eleven Rings," and the second is the 7 principals of a sound offense. If you combine the numbers, they make 18, which was Anderegg's number on the Knicks. Not satisfied? How about this: The first year Phil Jackson won an NBA title as a coach was back in ‘91. Bob Anderegg's listed playing weight was 200 pounds, which is 91 kilograms. Still haven't gotten the picture? Flip 91 around and you get "19," which is the amount of free throws Bob Anderegg missed throughout his brief career.


I printed the document out, flipped it over, dripped lemon juice on the back, and found the following rune:


I took that as an instruction to check inside my dog's mouth, so I did, and...


In his tweet, Jackson also makes several references to crafts other than coaching. He begins with psychology, mentioning Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. After that, he discusses leadership style within organizations on the whole, specifically contrasting the transactional and transformational styles. Most importantly, however, Jackson stresses the importance of learning to play in a group, calling it a "joyful experience be it drama, music, or sports."
Wait a second.

Drama, Music, Sports?

Jackson is obviously talking about 1960 musical "The Golden Boy," but that doesn't make sense because Sammy Davis Jr. can't coach the Knicks, having died two decades ago. Because he is so clearly and definitively alluding to "The Golden Boy," perhaps Jackson means to use the play as a metaphor, which means the obvious candidate being referenced is former multi-divisional championship boxer Oscar De La Hoya, whose nickname has been "The Golden Boy" for years. De La Hoya earned a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics before going on to a prestigious professional career during which he demonstrated himself more than capable of coaching a professional basketball team, at least in Phil Jackson's apparent opinion. De La Hoya, like Phil Jackson, has made a career promoting rings. The fit is tough to argue and Jackson should be applauded for his willingness to think outside the box.


When in doubt with Phil, look for the triangles. There are three clear triangles on the page (of course), so I drew a triangle connecting them:


I then found the triangle's exact midpoint and did some reading "between the lines"




The time atop Phil's message is 12:57. In the Bible, Luke 12:57 reads "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?" This echoes Phil's overall tone -- "You can check it out for yourself," "if you want to know look it up." That seems circular, no? He tells us to go look it up. I go look it up and the verse says "go judge for yourself."

Wait ... silly me. The name is sitting right there. Luke! Duh. We've already heard of a likely coaching candidate by that name: Luke



(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

I think we found our answer.