The Los Angeles Lakers just won their 15th NBA title, winning 99-86 over the Orlando Magic in game 5 of the NBA finals. This is their 15th NBA title, Kobe’s first without Shaquille O’Neal, and Phil Jackson’s record 10th. Kobe Bryant was named Finals MVP.
Jackson’s 10th title passes the great Red Auerbach’s 9 to set a new NBA record for championships won by a coach. But let’s get one thing straight, though. Auerbach might have been great, but ultimately, he was a sore loser by the quote below before he died in 2006.
“[Phil]’s never tried building a team and teaching the fundamentals,” Auerbach said. “When he’s gone in there, they’ve been ready-made for him. It’s just a matter of putting his system in there. They don’t worry about developing players if they’re not good enough. They just go get someone else.” [Yahoo!]
It was two different styles in two different eras, but there’s no telling what Red Auerbach might have done in this era. Auerbach’s teams weren’t exactly depleted of stars, but given the egotist he was shown by that comment, what do you think would have happened had he had those egos like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and others on his teams? He’d have had to have been the biggest ego on the team and shipped them out. He wouldn’t have known how valuable these players truly were, with their faults elsewhere than in the basketball skills. Maybe Jackson walked into those teams, and maybe he went and got what he wanted, but Auerbach would have shipped them all out had he been coaching those same personnel.
And this comment about not teaching the basics, that’s a load of BS from a bitter old guy. Why don’t you ask the stars what ultimately makes the difference in the game? You can have all the desires you want, if you don’t have the fundamentals, you won’t be winning anything worth writing about. And don’t tell me these guys had all their fundamentals down, or maintain them without being taught. Since when did any star have so much fundamentals they couldn’t use more? Maybe Jackson didn’t teach everything from scratch, but he could have because he still had to teach it. He may not have had to teach as large a set to every player as Red did, but he still had to teach them, and there’s no doubt he could because if he couldn’t, he wouldn’t be here. I would even say Phil, the Zen Master had the harder job cause he had to teach it to guys who thought they knew it all. Red never faced that nearly to the same extent. He wouldn’t have put up with it and shipped them out or benched them. It’s a different style that doesn’t work today.
And the Zen Master, he would never say any such thing about any rival, including Red. Phil just acknowledged on TV that Red was a great guy when asked about his relationship with Red being “competitive”. Phil said he’ll “smoke a cigar in memory of Red tonight”. To say anything so petty or negative of a worthy competitor like Red, as Red said of Phil, just would wouldn’t be zen… now or zen.
So Red, if you’re in Heaven, which I’m sure you are instead of some other place, I hope you’ll have changed your mind and heart by tonight cause Heaven ain’t got no place for people who are anything less than happy.
If not, may I respectfully say, get the Hell out of there!
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.6