In an interview with Time, former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he given his choice he would start his fantasy team with Bill Russell. The owner of 13 championship rings, 11 as a coach and two as a player with the New York Knicks, said he measures players by championships:
“In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell. He has won 11 championships as a player,” Jackson said. “That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.”
Russell earned 11 rings during his playing career, all with the Boston Celtics. He also won two NCAA championships at the University of San Francisco as well as a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics.
Jackson has not shied from comparisons in the promotion of his book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.” Earlier this month Jackson made waves when comparing Jordan to Bryant. He gave the edge to Jordan:
“Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence,” Jackson said. “Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had in his bones.”
The Jordan preference follows Jackson’s championship measure; Jordan won six rings, Bryant owns five.
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