Jackson through the years: Coaching in the CBA

Updated: June 9, 2008, 12:39 AM ET
ESPN.com

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1960s
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In 1982, after stints with the New Jersey Nets as an assistant coach and as a broadcaster, Jackson became coach of the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association.

Jackson joined the CBA already known for his countercultural ways as a player (in his 1975 book "Maverick," he wrote of gaining insight into basketball from taking LSD), and in Albany he showed he was also a coach of a different stripe. He had unusual success getting the Patroons to cooperate, even to share wages and playing time.

Albany won the CBA title in 1984, in Jackson's second season.

In 1987, Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause and Bulls coach Doug Collins hired Jackson as an assistant, and he served in that role for two years.

Then in July 1989, Collins was fired ... and the stage was set for the greatest ascension in NBA coaching history. Within four years, Jackson would have three NBA titles as coach, thanks to Michael Jordan, the triangle offense and his unusual coaching methods. The Zen Master had arrived.

Next: 1990s