Widely regarded as one the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA, Phil Jackson’s success has been highlighted with the chance of mentoring two of the NBA’s elite ever in Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Unfortunately so, a comparison between the two was always a discussion diverted by Jackson when coaching the Lakers and now in his latest book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” he reveals that the G.O.A.T, (MJ) is in fact the supreme player.
According to Jackson:
“One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader,”..”Though at times he could be hard on his teammates, Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence. Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had in his bones.”
In addition, Phil Jackson states:
“No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender,” “He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense.”
On analyzing their offensive differences:
“Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game.”
Also, he claims that Jordan was more of a bubbly person, claiming:
“Michael was more charismatic and gregarious than Kobe,” “He loved hanging out with his teammates and security guards, playing cards, smoking cigars, and joking around.
“Kobe is different. He was reserved as a teenager, in part because he was younger than the other players and hadn’t developed strong social skills in college. When Kobe first joined the Lakers, he avoided fraternizing with his teammates. But his inclination to keep to himself shifted as he grew older. Increasingly, Kobe put more energy into getting to know the other players, especially when the team was on the road.”
The never ending debate on who’s the best continues. What do you guys think?