In a recent interview, legendary coach Phil Jackson claimed he stopped watching the NBA when they went all in on woke.
"It was trying to cater to an audience or trying to bring a certain audience to the game. They didn’t know it was turning other people off. People want to see sports as non-political. Politics stays out of the game. It doesn’t need to be there," Jackson said on Rick Rubin's podcast. “They had things on their back like ‘Justice’ and a funny thing happened like, ‘Justice’ just went to the basket and ‘Equal Opportunity’ knocked him down. Some of my grandkids thought it was pretty funny to play up those names; I couldn’t watch that.”
While one could argue the social justice focus that began during the NBA's bubble season is a bit cringy, it doesn't seem so serious (and perhaps a little racist) that you would stop watching the NBA because of it. Especially if you are Phil Jackson and you had been involved with the league for over 40 years.
Skip Bayless had some fun with Jackson ditching the NBA while referencing Jimmy Butler's legendary playoff performance last night.
If only Phil Jackson could see this.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 25, 2023