Phil Jackson coached both superstars–he’s got the rings to prove it. So in conversations about the GOAT (greatest of all time) Jackson is always first on the speed dial. He’s typically nuanced in his replies–Jordan did this better, Kobe that. But when the New York Post’s Steve Serby asked Jackson if maybe Kobe Bryant would be a good model for Jackson’s New York Knicks star, Carmelo Anthony, he basically said no way. “No. No one can approach that [Kobe Bryant]”, Jackson said. “I don’t expect anybody to be able to model their behavior after that…he went beyond Michael in his attitude towards training.”
Now Phil Jackson didn’t get where he is without knowing a few things about who not to cross. He immediately said “I know Michael would probably question me saying that…” You think? Michael Jordan’s still mad that Bryon Russell had the audacity to try to guard him. But everybody acknowledges that Kobe Bryant is an obsessive worker. And anybody who has watched the Knicks knows that Carmelo Anthony is not. Jordan? He’s still the GOAT–does it matter if Kobe did 48 more pushups before breakfast?