Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/23/13
Phil Jackson has coached four players whose places among the NBA’s all-time greats are undisputed. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal all had sizable roles in bringing Jackson his 11 championship rings, and most of the “Who was better?” debates Jackson is asked to weigh in on revolve around Jordan and Bryant (or Jud Buechler versus Jason Caffey, obviously). In an interview with Time, Jackson touched on a new angle to the debate that was a little surprising. With Jackson possibly angling to get back into the NBA in a personnel position, he was asked which player from history he would take first if he was starting a team. The answer was not Jordan, the superstar who helped Jackson win six titles, but another guy with an ample collection of championship jewelry. “In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell,” Jackson told Time, according to SI.com. “He has won 11 championships as a player. That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.” So there you have it. Jackson would take Russell first, counting on that pick working out a lot more like Hakeem Olajuwon did for the Rockets and less like Sam Bowie did for the Trail Blazers. We’re guessing Jackson’s hypothetical team would be in “win now” mode, since the 79-year-old Russell probably doesn’t have the patience for a long, drawn-out rebuilding process. Check out Jackson’s conversation in the video below.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rutgers dismissed five football players who were arrested

Report: Independent neurologist resigns following RG3 disaster

Fabio Fognini stuns Rafael Nadal in epic match

Report: Patrick Kane’s rape case will soon be heard by grand jury

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN


Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker