Phil Jackson has had the good fortune of coaching some of the greatest players and greatest teams in NBA history, but if it were up to him, he would have taken a different player above Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to lead his perfect squad.
And that player is none other than 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.
“In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell. He has won 11 championships as a player,” Jackson told Time magazine. “That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.”
Jackson, who also has 11 championships, made the comments while promoting his book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.” Even though he won those titles with the likes of Jordan and Bryant, it seems he has even more respect for Russell, the only other person to have achieved the same level of success in the NBA that Jackson has.
That doesn’t mean he wasn’t appreciative and impressed by what Jordan and Bryant were able to do when reflecting back on his time coaching them. When asked which player of the two he would choose, here’s what he had to say:
“I would flip a coin. Whichever one came up heads or tails, I’d take that person. They were that good.”
Now we know who Jackson likes, so it’s time to ask you, Interbaseket readers. If you could pick any player in history to lead your dream team, who would it be? Let us know in the comments.