FanPost

Phil or Red?

With Phil Jackson's induction into the Hall of Fame, the comparisons between him and Red Auerbach are bound to surface in full force (not as much lately as Phil is not close yet to contending for what would be his record-setting 10th title as a coach).

So I ask you, sports fans, who is better?

Red Auerbach

Pros: built the Celtics dynasty, arguably the most dominating dynasty by any team in any major sport.  Smart scout, knew how to get the most out of his players.  His pride and joy was that he won by building fromthe ground up, with his own bare hands.

Cons: More symbol than maestro in the past 15-20 years.  Got a lot of parts for his teams by taking advantage of other teams.  His accomplishments, while amazing, would not translate into the modern era.  Salaries, scouting, and billionaire owners would work against him.  No one holds all the organizational positions that he did, because it stretches you too thin nowadays (true in every sport; see Holmgren, Mike and D'antoni, Mike).

Phil Jackson:

Pros: 9 titles and two dynasties with two different teams, including the Chicago Bulls, arguably the greatest benchmark of the modern era, with two threepeats.  Handles all sorts of egos, meshing them into phenomenal teams.  Coaxed the hall of famer back out of Dennis Rodman (if you don't think Rodman belongs, you haven't been paying attention).
Got Jordan to buy into the team concept, unleashing arguably the greatest player the league has ever known.

Cons:  You might say he's good with large egos because he can relate.  Relied heavily on Tex Winter, who perfected the legendary Triangle Offense.  Never had to build a team; Jerry Krause had a lot to do with getting Pippen, Grant, Cartwright, and other pieces.  Has been at the center of soap operatic-like dissension in both organizations.  May not have been at fault, but probably didn't help things.

Verdict:  In judging who is greater, I'd say it's apples and oranges, to be honest.  If you step back, you'll realize that there respective eras demanded different things from them as coaches, different personalities as well.  Old School v. New School,if you will.  You'll also see that they are without peer in their respective settings.  

Jackson would never be able to steer an entire organization, but the job of an NBA coach, and its pressures and scrutiny (especially with the talent and personalities he has had under him) is a complex, all-consuming task, and his number of trophies, not to mention posessing that rarest of things these days known as job security, balance that out.

Auerbach could probably be outmaneuvred, outcoached, and maybe even outfoxed (he never had to deal with a Paul Allen funded Kevin Pritchard), but HE BUILT A FRIGGIN' FRANCHISE WITH HIS BARE HANDS!  HIS BARE HANDS!!!!  And they won!  A lot!!!  He was the Bill Russell of coaches/managers/presidents/probably ball boys/ushers/ whatever else jobs there were to do to succeed.

In conclusion, apples and oranges, towering giants in their respective eras whose differences in strengths and funstions are balanced out by the changing complexities of the NBA landscape, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Wanted to be more in-depth,but I've got to run, and wanted to fire this off since I won't be back on the computer until later tonight.

What do you guys think?

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