For the second straight week, we are looking back on the glorious Lakers dynasty with an embarrassing portrait. Last Thursday, we found newly anointed coach and former Lakers player Luke Walton in a Manhattan Beach hot tub. This week, it’s another Lakers coach—Phil Jackson—on a beach in Santa Monica in 1999.
Back then, the only thing missing from Phil’s life was a belt. He was fresh off his third straight NBA championship—the sixth of his career—and ready to conquer Los Angeles. With a look like this, it’s easy to see why he came in and won right away.
He could have hopped on stage with Jimmy Buffett and blended right in. Everything about this photo was cool as hell back then—the cargo shorts, the two necklaces, the relaxed, Hawaiian-ish floral print shirt that takes longer to figure out than the triangle offense. Even today, if Phil rolled up to practice at Summer League shoeless with an unbuttoned shirt, the Knicks would immediately buy into his philosophy. Hell, if he rolled into a rival GM’s office like this, he’d get offered a pair of second-round picks on the spot.
If you don’t have a Halloween costume yet, you should be unbuttoned-shirt Phil. Easy route to a championship day.