Quizzed by the Huffington Post, Phil Jackson recently claimed he’d “never run into” a gay NBA player, calling the discussions of inclusiveness, “ridiculous” (ie. there were no homosexual pro ballers to include). Retired C/F John Amaechi (above)
, author of the 2007 memoir, “Man In The Middle”, suggests to Outsports’ Cyd Ziegler that Jackson’s well, kinda full of shit.
“I have NOTHING but respect for Shaq, Kurt Rambis and especially Phil Jackson,” Amaechi said, “but Phil spoke to me on the phone on a number of occasions and even had breakfast with me in LA after my really great season with Orlando when he was trying to get me to come to the Lakers and I would not have been the first gay player on one of his teams.
“I just can’t fathom that people like Phil who is clearly a smart man, could think the question ‘ridiculous.’ He has coached more than several gay (or “bi”) players over the years by my count… players who were not out publicly, but who had “managers who came to every game and lived with the players and certainly players who were more discrete than that, but still inspired ‘that conversation’ with some of their teammates and significant rumours in the in-the-know media – at least to the level I did when I played.”