Phil Jackson on Jordan-Kobe, why he’s not coaching Lakers, Shaq
Part II of Dan’s interview with Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson joined the show to talk about his new book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.”
Dan asked Jackson what would it have taken for him to be the Lakers coach right now. He said he wasn’t sure he could win another title and he certainly didn’t want to lose in the Finals, because that was very painful.
Jackson talked about the differences between coaching a star-laden veteran team and a young team. He said that the Bulls were very young early in his career there.
Jackson talked about some of the challenges Michael Jordan faces in Charlotte and the problems with mid-major markets. He said that it’s hard to get free agents in certain cities, unless you overpay them. So you have to work through the Draft, which means younger players.
Jackson also talked about his Jordan-Kobe Bryant comparison. Jackson said that Jordan had a unique ability to sit back and let other people get involved. Jackson noted Jordan knew how to finish games even when he wasn’t playing well. Whereas certain times Kobe would will himself into the game no matter what the circumstance is. Jackson explained that he had a different relationship with Kobe than Michael. He said he coached Kobe when he was just about 21 and he was there to learn. He said Kobe was very attentive and he had to preach patience to the young player.
Jackson also talked about coaching Shaquille O’Neal.”Shaq was pretty hard-headed,” Jackson said. “But it was pretty easy to be positive with him. Everything about this offense was to get the ball inside.”
Jackson said there was real tension between Shaq and Kobe about leadership and who was the man. He said that they competed in that sense.
Jackson had advice for how the Lakers can build this current team. “You have to play into Dwight Howard,” Jackson said. He said the offense has to come through the middle more, but Jackson noted that’s not Mike D’Antoni’s style.
Jackson talked about the Seattle franchise. He really liked potential owner Chris Hansen. “His vision I could buy into,” Jackson said. Jackson said Hansen offered him any role he wanted in the front office.
Jackson said that he got an offer to coach Brooklyn. He said that’s a good situation, but he didn’t take it. The Knicks did not make him an offer.
Jackson talked about Carmelo Anthony. “Carmelo is a terrific player,” Jackson said. Jackson thinks he could play in his system, but would be worried if he tried to score outside the system.