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That is a testament to Jackson identifying what best complements a team.

The Lakers have appeared beatable but have managed to persevere. Jackson, in customary fashion, has worked the officials in public settings on occasion, always seeking an edge, real or imagined.

He does not need another championship. He already is on the coaching Mount Rushmore of the NBA, right next to Auerbach.

The 63-year-old, white-haired gentleman, with the professorial air, stilted gait and coat-rack shoulders, has evolved into a legend.

That is not bad for a North Dakota graduate who spent five years off the NBA radar in the ‘80s, with a CBA team called the Albany Patroons.

Not bad at all.