During an interview with Time, the former Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach said he would take Bill Russell first if he were starting a team, not Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
“In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell,” Jackson answered when asked, via SI’s The Point Forward. “He’s won 11 championships as a player. That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.”
Time’s Belinda Luscombe followed up that question by asking Jackson whom he would choose between MJ and Kobe. Though excerpts from his new book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” make it seem like he leans towards Jordan, Jackson mostly avoided answering the question.
“I would flip a coin,” Jackson said. “Whichever one came up heads or tails, I’d take that person. They were that good.”
Jackson caused a stir when the book excerpts made it seem like he was picking MJ over Kobe in the historical debate. Bryant seemed to take issue with Jackson’s commentary and tweeted out a response: