Originally Posted by Frank Foley
I deleted my original response to this because I ended up writing another essay. Someone get me a writing instructor.
Anyways, just because Phil has 9 rings doesn't mean he's numero uno in all things basketball. There are aspects of the game in which certain individuals with less stellar resumes can still be more knowledgeable. Jim Boeheim is the undisputed master of the 2-3 zone. Zero NBA rings to his credit. Pete Carrill is the master of the Princeton offense. Again, zero rings. Larry Brown only has one ring, but most would agree that he's better at in-game management than Phil, who seems to be allergic to timeouts. I would say that Phil is a better coach than any of the guys I listed, but I'd take their word on particular things over Phil's.
Until someone declares Phil Jackson to be God of basketball, I will reserve the right to question some of his in-game decisions.
Good points. Surely I wouldn't presume to know more about basketball than any of these coaches, rings or no-rings. And I do believe Phil deserves a lot of leeway when analyzing his in-game decisions, but that doesn't meant he:
A) Never makes mistakes
B) Can never be second-guessed
No matter how many rings you have as a coach or a player you will always make mistakes during games, before games, and after games. Even the very best coaches have never "coached a perfect game." That leaves room for error and ultimately room for us to critique him and everyone else in each and every sport. We may not know more than them, but that doesn't mean at times they can't be wrong and we can't be right. You just hope (and assume) good/great coaches are right most of the time, and enough of the time to get you a title. But they all have their strengths and weaknesses too like Foley pointed out. Point is: saying that Phil may have made an error in how he played that possession does not equate to him being a poor coach, it just means in this very instance there is the possibility he made a mistake (and if its part of some long-term about letting the team make their own decisions that's not something we could possibly know and can't be at fault for ignorance). In this particular situation it seems like he had a good reason for doing what he did (but that wont always be true), Lamar just stepped back too far off Dirk and got caught behind a screen. We still won anyway.