You're overcooking my grits, coach.
Although a Lakers fan, I've long thought Pat Riley a better coach than Phil Jackson. While I still like Riley better, Jackson has impressed me the past few years and now I'm not so entrenched. Though he's had some premier players, Phil's been very successful, which may be quite the understatement, even though he's only been NBA's Coach of the Year once measly time (94-95).
Get this ...
Phil Jackson has coach his teams to the NBA Finals 13 of the past 20 years. 13/20?! Regardless of what happens tonight in Game 7 against the hated Celtics, that's VERY impressive. He's 10-2 in the finals, winning more than any NBA coach. In fact, after Tuesday night's win, Phil Jackson has more playoff victories than any other coach in any other sport, eclipsing Scottie Bowman.
Tonight is Phil's first finals Game 7 ever, and as the title hangs in the balance, a 16th for the Lakers or 18th for the Celtics, something gotta give. Phil Jackson is 47-0 in playoff series when his team wins Game 1, which the Lakers did. Kobe & Derek Fisher are 26-0 in a playoff series when they win Game 1. When teams are tied 1-1 in the finals, the winner of Game 3 is 10-0. The Lakers won Game 3.
But, the Lakers have never beaten the Celtics in a Game 7, going 0-4. And the Celtics have never blown 3-2 lead in the finals, going 11- in those series. Something's gotta give.
Despite his resume, Phil has never coached in a Game 7, so he's making history. Whether or not Phil wins a ring for his toe tonight, he's won this fan over. That Phil Jackson's a pretty good coach.Cf. 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time by Sporting News, with Phil at #4.