Zen Master on Rodman: Greatest Athlete He Ever Coached

by August 27, 2008

by Marcel Mutoni

Yesterday, I briefly touched on Phil Jackson receiving an honorary degree from his Alma matter, and today we get more from Phil’s acceptance speech.

The Zen Master reflected on the unbelievable amount of talent he’s had the good fortune of coaching, and when asked who the greatest athlete he ever coached was, Jackson offered the University of North Dakota crowd a surprising answer.

From the OC Register:

No, the player Jackson called the greatest that he has coached is that wedding dress aficionado and Newport Beach police’s favorite basketball bad boy, Dennis Rodman. That’s right. No need to rub your eyes.

“He could probably play a 48-minute game and play the 48th minute stronger than the first minute of the game,” Jackson told the crowd at UND. “He was that terrific an athlete.”

I could understand Phil calling Dennis the greatest rebounder he ever saw, or perhaps even one of the greatest defenders ever, but the greatest athlete?

When you’ve barked out instructions to people like MJ, Pippen, Kobe, and a young and motivated Shaq, that’s more than a stretch.