Phil Jackson Selfie: Zen Master Wins Internet Posing with Jeanie Buss

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2013


It's been a big year for selfies.

First, the term for taking a photo of oneself with a phone was named Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year. Seriously. And now, the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson, has officially verified the validity of this trend by participating in it himself, lining up for a rather adorable selfie next to his fiancee, Jeanie Buss.

Here's Buss' tweet with the pair looking all lovey-dovey:

Awwwww, Phil haz selfie.

The selfie is often lamented by human beings with a general sense of self-awareness as a self-indulgent, narcissistic and, well, pretty darn annoying trend. I mean, people rarely center their faces in the frame, the pictures often look blurry and, seriously, I could just see your new haircut the next time we hang out, okay?

But in Jackson, we have hope for the selfie. The man who made a living finding ways to foster chemistry between big egos and who motivated superstars where others failed can surely teach us how to optimize the art of the selfie.

Yes, the art of the selfie—we're going down that rabbit hole.

What we need is a Triangle Offense for selfies, a system to ensure we aren't saturated with the same annoying selfie on Facebook every five minutes.

The first lesson Jackson imparts is that selfies can, indeed, be powerful. For one thing, look how cute this pair is acting like teenagers in love. A little bit of genuine emotion goes a long way in a selfie, folks, especially when we aren't expecting it.

And that's lesson No. 2—there is some tasty irony here. A thoughtful, successful and measured man like Jackson being caught in a selfie? It's amazing, and something most of us never thought we'd see. The rarity and contrast presented gives this selfie actual value.

The only thing better would be Ron Swanson in a selfie. Oh wait, that happened.

In some ways, the selfie is beautiful in that it is far more spontaneous and far less pretentious than its grandfather, the self-portrait. At least I can scroll past your Facebook feed if your selfies are annoying me, but if your countenance is glowering down at me while I sit in your living room, well, I'm just uncomfortable.

For all of Jackson's zen, he's always managed to remain down to earth. He's like that song about God sitting on a bus with all of us slobs, or whatever, except in this case he's a basketball coach, not a god, and he's just sitting amongst us slobs while he's stuck in Los Angeles traffic in whatever classy car he owns.

It's not a perfect metaphor.

So what's the third pillar of our Triangle Offense for selfies? Why, moderation of course. It doesn't seem likely we'll see Jackson popping up in a selfie very often, if ever again. We know we should treasure this bizarre, lovely moment because it won't be happening every two freaking hours online ohmigod don't you have a job or something you should be doing instead of taking selfies?

So to review—convey genuine emotion, make sure your selfie has some sort of actual value and don't be a serial selfie poster. Follow these tenants, and your selfies will be a glass of water in a desert of egotistical self-portraits.

Thanks, Phil, for validating the existence of selfies and teaching us all how it should be done, probably without ever realizing the darn thing had even gone viral. Your wisdom hasn't been lost on us. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to devise a pick-and-roll system for posting Vines. 


Hit me up on Twitter—I sometimes take selfies next to screenshots of my fantasy football lineup, because we've been so happy together this year. If that's wrong then I don't want to be right.

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