Just because Phil Jackson has 13 championship rings (11 as a coach, two as a player) he apparently thinks that he can say and do whatever he wants — not on my watch, “Zen Master.” Coaching four of the best players to ever step on the hardwood, Jackson has had the luxury of tutoring a few of the greatest teams ever assembled.
Obviously, the Hall of Fame coach deserves some kudos, but he has no right to go around bashing his former players left and right. Jackson sounds like any bozo in a barbershop when he starts to drudge up the age old argument of Kobe Bryant versus Michael Jordan. In this day and age there is always someone who compares generations and winds up looking like a fool. After coaching Jordan for nine years, Jackson made the difficult and challenging move to head to the Los Angeles Lakers and coach Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal.
If anyone has a right to talk about this comparison it’s Jackson, but even when he does it I can’t help but cringe. Too many times players from opposite ends of the spectrum get compared and one guy gets the shaft, which is entirely unfair.
Kobe has managed to have a wonderful career with five championship rings of his own, so don’t downplay that achievement merely because Jordan has one more title. For now, I want to refrain from the Jordan was “tougher” and “a tougher, more intimidating defender.” Jordan is 50 and Kobe has at least another three years left to go, so the comparison is premature to say the least.