Robert Horry had the honor to play under the two best coaches in NBA history, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. Horry won 7 titles in his career, sharing touches with great players like Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant, but also learning from the greatest head coaches this game has ever seen. He played a combined 12 seasons with both coaches, getting to know them very well.
He was successful with both men, but Horry admits there is a big difference between Jackson and Popovich’s coaching style. There is no only one formula for success and Horry’s words are the perfect example of that.
Jackson and Pop have different approaches to the game and the way they interact with their players, with one only sticking to basketball while the other goes beyond that and tries to know the person, not just the player.
During a recent appearance on Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Horry talked about his time with the two coaches and what makes them so different.
“Phil wouldn’t really talk to you,” started Horry. “[He] would just come and talk to you [about] basketball — [say] read my book that I gave to you for a Christmas present.”
“Pop would come and talk to you, take you to dinner, buy you a glass of wine,” said Horry. Pop would really try to get to know you.”
They’re not the same, but that hasn’t prevented them from being successful in the game. Whenever you ask somebody about the greatest coach of all time, they’ll say Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich. These two are living legends and their different styles have given them that status. It’s up to players and fans decide which one they like better.