Phil Jackson is on the verge of becoming the next Breff Favre. Will he come or will he go. Here's a question, though. Who Cares? Really, does it matter if he is 335 games over .500 in his career as a coach? Does it matter that he has 11 NBA Championships? He's a mediocre coach.
Go ahead and immediately downplay that notion that he is just an average guy. Players play and coaches coach. When you have the best players on the court you are going to win more often than you lose. Phil Jackson won 70% of the regular season games he coached. That's about 57 games won a year in an 82 game season. Big deal?
Everyone jumped on Eric Spoelstra and the Miami Heat for coming out so slowly to start the year and yet the team still won 58 games. It isn't that Spoelstra is a great coach, rather he has the best players on his team. There's no such thing as luck, it is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. If Spoelstra had a horrible ensemble of players, he might get canned for a bad start, but the fact is he has the best players, much like Phil Jackson did his entire career.
Do you think that if Spoelstra had the same talent on his team for 20 years that he could consistently win 57 games? Without a doubt. But no one is ever going to claim that he was one of the best coaches. Is there an award for best manager of talent? Maybe that is what we could dole out to coaches like Phil Jackson and Eric Spoelstra.
I'm not saying Doc Rivers is the best coach either. Ask anyone who knows me and I was against Doc Rivers coming to Boston. These guys are in the NBA and if they can't get up to play then they won't win. It doesn't take a coach in the NBA to motivate players. This isn't the college game. Phil Jackson has always had the best player on his team, so it is only natural that he be one of the best coaches when it came to winning percentage.
What makes the best coach? A coach that takes his team to new levels, a coach that surpasses expectations. Should the Heat miss their expectations of winning a championship it wouldn't surprise me to see Phil Jackson come and take over. Why would Phil Jackson take over a team like the Sacramento Kings and show what kind of coach he really is? If he really is that great of a coach? Look at any other team in the West right now still playing and they should be defined as better coaches. They all won 56% or more of their regular season games and made the playoffs with far inferior teams. Do that consistently and they have a case.
Sure, no one knew that Jordan and Kobe would be the players they panned out to be when Phil first had them but the only way Jackson would coach is if he had the best players. So if Phil stays, it will only be in a spot beneficial to him. I give coaches like Larry Brown more credit for trying again and again, only to fail again and again. They are trying to flex their coaching muscle, aka, their minds. How hard is it to say, "Kobe, let's get a win, go take over"? It really is that easy and if any NBA team wants to give me a chance with elite players, I'll gladly put a few flex offense sets on a whiteboard and say "Hey, Superstar, go get me a win. And look to Superstar 2 and 3 if you can't get your shot."