Phil Jackson said Kobe’s Training “went beyond Michael” but MJ was a better leader, shooter & defender
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“No. No one can approach that.” said Phil Jackson to the NY Post when asked Is Kobe the model for Carmelo Anthony. “I don’t expect anybody to be able to model their behavior after that, although Kobe modeled his behavior a lot about Michael Jordan, but he went beyond Michael in his attitude towards training, and I know Mike would probably question me saying that, but he did.”
Probably is right. I think it’s a safe bet to say Michael Jordan will be marking Phil Jackson off his Christmas list just like he did with Charles Barkley when Barkley publicly criticized him. But the again, in Phil’s book “Eleven Rings” Jackson did say that MJ was a better leader, shooters and defender than Kobe.
“One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader,” Jackson said. “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.”
Jackson noted the “pronounced” difference in their accuracy, Jordan shooting almost 50% — an “extraordinary figure” — while Bryant had been at 45%.
“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.”
Earlier in the year, Phil also dropped a gem on Fox Sports Live when he told a hilarious story about the time he asked Michael Jordan to talk to Kobe Byrant about the way he plays and the first thing Kobe said to Jordan was “I could kick your ass one-on-one.” Jordan’s response was “You might.”
Here’s a few more gems from the NYPost interview with Phil Jackson.
- He referred to himself as “Action Jackson” in another world, another lifetime.
- He used to show clips of “The Wizard of Oz” to certain players
- He doesn’t “visualize winning a championship in NY”
- He believes the triangle offense will make Melo a better player by giving him the opportunity to be a passer and rebounder
- He doesn’t know if JR Smith is a player you can “get through to”