Phil Jackson Revealed Cancer Scare During 2011 Season

Phil Jackson revealed that he had prostate cancer in a new book. The sure fire hall-of-fame coach apparently was diagnosed with prostrate cancer during the NBA season but waited until the off-season to actually have surgery.

While the season was going on, the coach opted to take medication designed to control the disease so that he wouldn’t miss as much time. In the book, Jackson said that he was informed of the cancer in March which meant that he marched the Los Angeles Lakers through the end of the regular season and the playoffs.

Doctors assured him that the disease would not get any worse as long as the former Knicks, Bulls and Lakers coach didn’t wait long after the regular season to get surgery.

Phil Jackson did tell the team, but the man who is known known as a master manipulator even timed the announcement for what he felt was just right time. That time was when the team had entered the playoffs.

According to at least one report, Jackson felt that his team was slipping and he decided that the time for a boost was needed. Pau Gasol talked to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register about his reaction to the news.

Gasol said that it was, “Shocking. But then you also could understand certain moments of his demeanor, energy and involvement because of what he was going through health-wise.”

The star forward added that it was a difficult moment for the team. Unfortunately the manipulation didn’t quite work as the Los Angeles Lakers were swept out of the Western Conference semifinals by the Dallas Mavericks.

For now, that marked the end of the legendary coach’s career although there are rumblings that he (apparently fully recovered) might be thinking about a return to the league.

Phil Jackson had been contacted by the Cavaliers for the job that eventually went to Mike Brown and other openings could reportedly entice the man back to the game.

[Image via s_bukley /]

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