An Open Letter to Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson

A note: I’ve been a Laker fan since I was 10 years old and was thrilled to see them win this year’s NBA championship. As a fan I loved to see the team reach higher levels of understanding as they played beautiful basketball but winced as I saw Laker head coach Phil Jackson struggle to walk. It made ME hurt just to watch him.

I know Egoscue could be of profound benefit to Jackson. We’ve had great success in working with people with degenerative hips, clients who completed rehab but still had significant functional limitation and pain, who then came to Egoscue and could move with far more freedom in little to no pain. I want to help Jackson. After what he and the Lakers have done for me it would bring me great joy to give something back. So in that spirit…

Dear Mr. Jackson, 

First, let me congratulate you on the tremendous accomplishment of winning your 10th championship. As a lifelong Laker fan, it gives me great pleasure to see you pass as esteemed a coaching legend as Red Auerbach.

Now to the point: you can and should be feeling MUCH better than you are right now. I understand you had two arthritic hips that were both replaced, and now you have plantar fascitis. I’m guessing you believe your hips were arthritic because of your years playing basketball. I would represent to you that if this were so then everyone who ever played professional basketball would develop arthritic hips and that’s not the case. 

The problem wasn’t the basketball itself but the position your hips were in when they played. Your posture was compromised, and because they were out of position, they incurred stress and friction they were not designed to incur. That postural compromise then endured after your playing days were over. I’ve seen video of you from your days coaching the Chicago Bulls and your hip position was a case of arthritis waiting to happen. 

The same postural compromise that caused your hips to break down is still present, even after the hip replacement surgeries. Those surgeries didn’t fix the problem, they fixed the RESULT of the problem. Imagine you are driving your car and you hit a pothole and knock your front end out of alignment. What will happen to your tires? Yes, they will wear faster, and unevenly. Well, what will happen if you simply buy new tires? That’s right, those new tires will not perform correctly and they will also wear faster and unevenly. Whether you buy new tires or not, you must fix the alignment or the problem will persist. The same thing applies to your hips, it’s the alignment that has to be fixed.

Now the problem has migrated to your feet. Because of your hip limitation, the way your feet strike the ground is compromised. You’ve lost the normal heel/ball/toe motion of your foot strike. This is causing persistent friction generated within the plantar bed of the foot, the fascia then inflames there, and voila, plantar fascitis.

The good news is all of this is very, very fixable. Egoscue has seen literally thousands of clients in your exact situation, and they have experienced remarkable improvement in the quality of their life. Just because you have two hip replacements does NOT mean you need to be walking the way you are walking. This should be much better, and it CAN be much better, but you will need to work hard to change your hip alignment and body motion if you want to get a pain free result.

It would be my privilege to send you information about The Egoscue Method, whether that’s one of Pete Egoscue’s books, some general information about the clinic, whatever you require or desire. If you’d like to speak to someone credible from the athletic world about Egoscue, I would refer you to two players from the NFL who had long and legendary careers: Junior Seau and John Lynch. Both made extensive use of Egoscue as part of their training and body maintenance programs. If you’d like a medical reference, I would gladly put you in touch with Dr Mark Adickes, one of the team orthopedic surgeons for the Houston Rockets and the co-chairman of the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute in Houston, TX. He is both a client of Egoscue and he refers his patients to us, with great success. 

I’m not trying to get you to be a client of our clinic in Austin, I know you live nowhere near here either in or out of season. But we do have a clinic in Santa Monica and I know the staff there would be of tremendous benefit to you. If there is ANYTHING I can do to be of service to you in any way, be it in providing information, to meet with you, or to answer questions by phone or e-mail just ask. It would give me great, great pleasure to see you improve your health in this way and be able to walk again free of pain and limitation. And that is very possible for you.

This Laker team is a special one that has a great chance to win another championship and I’d love to see you get XI. But whether you choose to avail yourself of what Egoscue can offer you or not, it is my sincere wish that you live a long, happy and healthy life, free of pain and limitation. I wish you and your loved ones all the best sir.

With sincere regards and deep respect, 

Rick Mathes

Clinic Director 
Egoscue – Austin 


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One Comment on “An Open Letter to Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson”

  1. Coach Jackson, how I hope this letter has made it into your hands! You are such an inspiring figure in this world and only deserve the most vibrant health. I know that you would be well served to visit the Santa Monica Egoscue clinc and discover the miraculous world that Pete Egoscue has designed. His method finally allowed me to reclaim my life. Barbara Baker

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