by user DRE-LO

One would think Phil Jackson would be exempt and immune from any type of criticism after winning 9 NBA Championships with 2 different franchises{BULLS, LAKERS} After all, it's not every head coach that gets to coach Jordan, Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Shaq as well as a host of terrific role players. However, there are those who felt and still feel that Phil Jackson has been fed the proverbial silver spoon by getting to coach 4 future Hall of Famers. Basketball can be misconstrued as an individual sport when one sees the constant 40-50 point performances in the game today and the sick 81 point performance by Bryant against Toronto. The fact still remains that despite the Jordans, Bryants, Pippens, and Shaqs that exist, it is the team that win championships. That's what Phil has emphasized in his coaching philosophy as well as his genius Triangle Offense. One can say that his best coaching job is the 70 win season in the first full year of MJ'S return and the eventual championship.

In my view, I feel he's cemented his legacy this year more than any other year.

One of the more interesting questions I had coming into the season is not whether he can coach Kobe again, but how he will do with a young team clearly in a rebuilding phase.

The answer- He got everything and then some from his young team. He had the Lakers playing playoff basketball the last 16 games of the regular season. He's getting the most from Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Smush Parker and.....

KWAME BROWN!!! {THIS IS NOT A TYPO} The true genius in Phil Jackson is being displayed in this series against the Suns. Despite it being a 1-1 tie headed into Los Angeles, the Lakers have completely taken the Suns out of their fastbreak transition-style tempo the first 2 games by using their advantage in size. It could have easily been a 2-0 series lead for the Lakers had Kobe made a few more open shots in Game 1. Lamar Odom has outplayed Shawn Marion. {KWAME BROWN OUTPLAYED SHAWN MARION!!} Most people felt coming in that Kobe would have to put up an average of 40 or more points for the Lakers to have a chance.

Not Phil. Despite Kobe averaging near 43 points a game against the Suns this season, they went 0-3 against them when they had a healthy Steve Nash. Phil is a master at making adjustments heading into a long playoff series by taking away his opponent's strength and attacking their weakpoint. He has taken away the Suns tempo and has taken advantage of their undersized post. Kurt Thomas and Amare Stoudamire are sorely missed now.

In my view, Phil has arguably done his best coaching job this season than any other in his career. If the Lakers get past the Suns in this series, there is no reason for argument.


Thu 04/27/06, 6:38 pm EST

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