Having coached both legends at the very height of their respective basketball powers, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has never shied away from the unending Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant debate.
The Zen Master has, like everyone else, acknowledged that Jordan was the better overall player, but gives Kobe the edge when it comes to preparation and training.
Jackson, in a Q&A with the NY Post, also discusses how Carmelo Anthony can integrate himself into the triangle offense:
Q: Is Kobe Bryant the model for Carmelo Anthony?
A: “No. No one can approach that. I don’t expect anybody to be able to model their behavior after that, although Kobe modeled his behavior a lot about Michael Jordan, but he went beyond Michael in his attitude towards training, and I know Mike would probably question me saying that, but he did.”
Q: How and why will the triangle offense make Carmelo a better player?
A: “It’ll give him opportunity to be a passer, a rebounder, and probably easier spots to score from than he’s had before. I think. I hope that’s true for a lot of the players.”
Q: Hawks GM Danny Ferry recently made comments about Carmelo in which he reportedly said: “He can shoot the [bleep] out of it, but he screws you up in other ways. So is he really worth $20 million? I would argue if he plays the right way, absolutely.”
A: “I think there’s probably 15 players in the NBA that are very similar position. I don’t know if all of ’em are paid $20 million, but the coaches and GMs are talking about it in those type of terms — how much does this guy hurt your team, or hurt the game flow because he’s trying to score. The attempt to score, the need to score, the pressure that he feels he has to score. … Does he take away from the team game? That’s what Danny’s talking about there. And that’s where Carmelo’s gonna move forward this year in that situation — the ball can’t stop. The ball has to continually move. It moves, or goes to the hoop on a shot or a drive or something like that. In our offense, that’s part of the process of getting players to play in that rhythm.”