The secret of Phil Jackson's triangle offense is that it doesn't exist

Patrick McDermott

The triangle offense is famous for its results under Phil Jackson, but what is it even? We investigate.

The New York Knicks' decision to tab Derek Fisher as their next head coach should come as a surprise to no one, especially after comments from Knicks president Phil Jackson about Fisher led to a $25,000 fine for tampering. Fisher, a longtime player for Jackson on the Los Angeles Lakers, shows a clear understanding of Jackson's beloved offensive system, which was surely a draw for the new Knicks executive.

The triangle offense has been the centerpiece of Jackson's offensive philosophy on his way to 11 championship rings. It's become synonymous with Jackson's name 25 years after his coaching debut for the Chicago Bulls. The level of success Jackson had with such remarkable talents elevated the offense into prominence even though no other coach has succeeded with it.

However, I'm here to tell you the secrets of the triangle offense.

1. It doesn't freaking exist

That's right, it's not even real. Did you know there are triangles between three players on the court at any time? And did you know every bad team in history has used triangles in their offenses? Let's go to the tape.

Fig 1.1: The 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats (7-59) used a triangle in this offense featuring DeSagana Diop.

Fig 1.2: The 2012-13 Orlando Magic (20-62) revitalized the triangle with this brief use of a three-sides plane against the Miami Heat.

Fig 1.3: The 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers (19-63) try the difficult and rarely utilized "inside triangle" against the East's best team.

Just try to ask Phil Jackson about this and he'll try to weasel his way out of the trap, but don't believe his lies. The triangle offense might as well just be called The Offense, which might be a John Grisham book I haven't read.

2. Do you even know someone who knows it?


3. It's a tool of the #Illuminati

Don't believe me? Stay woke.



That's really all you need to know about the triangle offense, especially since it doesn't really exist. Triangles are all around us. Ones with acute angles, right angles, obtuse angles, you name it: there's a bunch of them on the basketball court at any time. It's like one of those brain games where you have to count how many triangles are in some picture and it's always more than you think. They're everywhere.

I'm not sure triangles can save the New York Knicks, though. It'd take some really cool triangle (isosceles?) to turn a lineup featuring Raymond Felton and Andrea Bargnani into a plus. But at the least it should help the Illuminati conquer the world, which is neat.

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