Phil Jackson had the savvy and good fortune to coach two of the greatest players the NBA has ever known—both 2-guards, both brilliant sociopaths. But for the first time, Jackson writes about how the two measure up against each other.
Jackson’s book, Eleven Rings, comes out next week. But today, Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, who often tried unsuccessfully to get Jackson to compare the two, runs a few preview passages in which Jackson does exactly that.
On basketball mindsets:
“Michael was more likely to break through his attackers with power and strength, while Kobe often tries to finesse his way through mass pileups,” Jackson wrote. “Michael was stronger, with bigger shoulders and a sturdier frame. He also had large hands that allowed him to control the ball better and make subtle fakes.
“Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game.”