Lakers News and Rumors Recap: To Phil, Kobe is Second Best

Lakers News and Rumors Recap: To Phil, Kobe is Second Best

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Michael-Jordan-Quote2Bits and pieces of Phil Jackson’s new book keep popping up online. Despite the number of stories and history in the novel, one thing really stood out; Phil Jackson would take Michael Jordan over Kobe Bryant.

We all revere Kobe as an incredible leader. But Phil seems to think MJ had him beat:

“One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader. 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 in his bones.”

Granted, over the years Bryant grew into his leadership role, and as of late, has been praised for his ability to bring the best out in his comrades. Another thing Phil talked about, which isn’t that surprising, is Bryant’s insufficient defense:

“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. In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price.”

Kobe responded to the news today of Phil’s comparisons via his Twitter, stating:

“The comparisons are #apples2oranges,” the tweet said. “Wonder what the perception would be if M played wit @shaq instead #differentroles #differentcareerpaths.”

To catch more on what Phil Jackson spoke about, watch his segment last night with Jay Leno. The former head coach touched upon Jordan and his off the court leadership and the difference between him and Kobe in that regard. He also explained what happened when the Lakers chose to hire Mike D’Antoni as head coach over him.

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