Phil Jackson is perhaps the greatest coach in NBA history. During his long coaching career, he mentored several Hall of Famers and won 11 championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers as their head coach. He also won two championships as a player in a New York Knick uniform.
The Zen Master coached living legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Scottie Pippen.
When it comes to hypothetical situations on who is the most dominant player in his opinion, Jackson provided a very curious answer to the question. At that time he was winning championships with Los Angeles Lakers so naturally, he went with Shaquille O’Neal.
“That question was asked not so long ago and I said yes, stab me in the back, I want to make a distinction between two of the best players I ever coached. The reality is that Shaq is so dominant you always have an overmatch, you can always draw a double-team and get a shot for somebody because he is always double-teamed. The drawback about that he will need to have a ball in his hands while Michael can take it from over 19 feet and develop something from that aspect of bringing it up the court and finding an operating space. They are both great, but the big key is if Shaq can make his free-throws.”
Phil also shared his thoughts on that Lakers team going up against one of his Chicago Bulls teams and said they would have a lot problem going against a team with a powerful center like Shaq.
“It would be very difficult. We didn’t like to double-team and that Chicago team stayed pretty solid defensively and the only thing we could do is put pressure which is a lot of teams try to do to us with the Lakers now”
This was a very interesting point of view from Phil Jackson as he said his former Chicago Bulls team would have a lot of problems with the Los Angeles Lakers team he coached that featured Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.