Phil Jackson must know a thing or two about winning championships since he's one of the greatest coaches of all time after winning 11 titles coaching the Chicago Bulls (6) and the Los Angeles Lakers (5). The Zen Master led some of the best players in history to the promised land so his voice matters a lot when it comes to basketball-related topics.
Back in 2013, Jackson was asked what player he'd pick to start a team, and out of the players in NBA history, he went with Bill Russell.
Asked by TIME Magazine in 2013, Jackson selected Russell, who won 11 championships as a player, over his two biggest figures, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Jackson believes that the fact that Russell was so successful during his days as a player gives him an advantage over any other player. Moreover, he opted for an interesting option when he was asked to pick between Jordan and Bryant.
“So if you were starting a team from scratch and it was team in the moment. And you can have any player in history. Who would be your very first pick?”
Phil: “In my estimation, the guy that has to be there is Bill Russell who won 11 championships as a player. I think that’s the idea of what excellence is. Is when you win championships.”
“So Bill then. Between Kobe and MJ. Who would you choose?”
Phil: “I’d do a coin flip and whichever one came up heads or tails I would take that person.”
If Phil Jackson can't decide between Kobe and Michael, imagine how difficult that decision could be for the rest of us. He tried to make things easier picking Russell but that wasn't and it's never going to be easy. Jackson led Jordan and Bryant to be great and this definitely wasn't the best decision for him.