Phil Jackson led the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls to a combined total of 11 NBA championship during his coaching career. But during all that time, he says he never encountered a single gay player.
Jackson, who also played in the NBA for 13 seasons, said he had ‘never run into it in all my career’ when he was asked during an interview with HuffPost Live about gay players in the league.
Jackson, 67, seemed annoyed by the mere question of whether the league should be more inclusive when it comes to gay players.
‘That’s a ridiculous question,’ he said. ‘None of us has probably ever seen it in all of our careers. … There’s no inclusiveness to be had so it’s really a strange question to come out.’
While John Amaechi remains the only one former NBA player to ever come out as gay, few doubt there are and have been plenty of closeted players in the league.
During the same interview, retired Lakers player and Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis had a different view.
‘It wouldn’t surprise me if there was (a gay player),’ he said. ‘It’s an interesting subject that most teams are going to have to address at some point in tome , if not now then at some point in the future.’