There aren't many basketball minds that know Michael Jordan better than Phil Jackson. As the head coach who had front row seats to every one of Jordan's dominating performances while he was with the Chicago Bulls, you gotta believe that Jackson is very capable of giving a fair assessment in the debate over whether LeBron James could be better than MJ. Well, the Zen Master added his two cents while on an ESPN Chicago radio station and check out what he had to say:
“He's got all the physical attributes. I think we all question the prepping that went into LeBron. His defense was shaky when he was a younger player and finding his way through that direction. He is a player that can play four positions. Except for perhaps the center spot, which he hasn't given a shot at yet, he can play those other four positions quite well. This is unique; Michael could play three and was very good at all three of those. But as a power player that LeBron can become, I think he has an opportunity to explore and advance some of the status that he has already gained.
"Winning six championships is an elusive thing out there, and they haven't won two yet. But he's kinda got the smell of it and even the Olympic experience this summer, he was the granted leader of that team and was the critical player when they needed something to happen in the final games. I think he's there. I think he's at that position. He's got good things ahead of him, and a lot of it depends upon if he's gonna be healthy for the remainder of his career.
“I have a hard time judging that best player, but I do think that Michael had more moves in the post and he had more of a, perhaps, shooting touch with his back to the basket and all these kind of things that were part of his game. LeBron has this train out of control when he gets the ball in transition that he can go coast to coast without anyone getting in his way. And if they do, he's going to over run them. And he's got the power with the body, and he's developed a left hand that's extremely good.
"There's a lot of things that you are seeing in the development of this player that leads towards that, but the ideal and the whole reason behind this is what kind of championships are you gonna get from a player like this? Can he match what Michael has done?”
By tiptoeing his way around a variety of different attributes, Jackson was able to give the pros and cons of both guys without swaying in favor of one player over another. But one takeaway from Phil's comments is that he could not completely side with Jordan. Where do you stand on the LeBron/MJ debate?
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[via Eye On Basketball]