Friday, May 13, 2011

Goodbye Phil

      Let me start this blog by saying I don't think Phil Jackson was a bad coach, he was a very good coach. But the way ESPN, including one of my favorite writers Bill Simmons have been trying to saint him faster than Pope John Paul II, is making me sick. When ranking basketball PLAYERS, I think one of the most important qualities is number of championships. However, when ranking basketball COACHES I prefer to look at the amount of times a coach is able to overachieve with the players he is given. A coach like Brad Stevens would be greater in my opinion than Roy Williams based on what they did with what they had. The only way I see Phil Jackson overachieving is in the significant other department. He parlayed being "Phil Jackson" into a much younger girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, his boss's daughter by the way. Really if MJ never showed up, don't you picture Phil spending the twilight of his life in a cabin with a Bea Arthur look alike?
Nice job Phil! Now as for all those wins. Practically every year Phil won the title his team was one of the favorites to win. He almost always had the best 1, 2, or sometimes 3 players on the court. He ALWAYS had the best closer on the court. Can anybody go out there and win 11 championships? No. Were there other coaches who in those same situations, with those same players, could have won 11 championships? I say yes. How "legendary" was Phil Jackson the year Scottie Pippen was his best player? The NBA is a player driven league, and without Phil Jackson it will still make money hand over fist. Bill Simmons thinks it was a shame Phil left with his players quitting and him sitting with that smug look on his face? I say it was the perfect ending. He realized he couldn't do anything about the fact he had inferior players, and as usual let them take the blame for the loss. Sometimes I picture Jordan sitting at a poker table with a big cigar in his mouth laughing at the whole notion of the "Zen master". You think Jordan couldn't have pulled a Russell and coached himself to a ring or two? In 2011 America, when somebody reaches their twilight it seems we have to deify them. Phil Jackson was a great coach who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, let's just not rename the place after him.

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