Phil Jackson Says He Would Take This Player Over MJ If He Had The First Pick In A Draft With Every Player In History

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JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

When you think of all-time great NBA coachers, Phil Jackson's name comes up a lot.

The Zen Master led both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to multiple titles, finishing his coaching career with 11 rings -- 6 for the Bulls and 5 for the Lakers -- and earning two rings while playing for the Knicks in the 1970's.

Some credit Jackon's success to the talent he had at his disposal, as PJ has coached some legendary players, including Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Scottie Pippen, and of course, Michael Jordan.

When it comes to the hypothetical General Manager game however, Phil Jackson throws all previous basketball ties out the window.

Jackson was asked back in 2013 by TIME Magazine who he would start a franchise with if he had the first pick in a draft consisting of every player that has ever played in the NBA, and to many people's surprise, Jackson didn't pick Jordan or Kobe:

"So if you were starting a team from scratch and it was team in the moment. And you can have any player in history. Who would be your very first pick?"

Phil: "In my estimation, the guy that has to be there is Bill Russell who won 11 championships as a player. I think that's the idea of what excellence is. Is when you win championships."

"So Bill then. Between Kobe and MJ. Who would you choose?"

Phil: "I'd do a coin flip and whichever one came up heads or tails I would take that person."

It seems that Phil values championships over anything else, which isn't a bad way to go about things. Bill Russell is one of the most successful NBA players of all-time title-wise, claiming 5 MVP awards, 12 All-Star selections and of course, those 11 championship rings, so you can't really fault Jackson for going the route of Bill.

When it comes to who Phil prefers between Kobe and Jordan however, he prefers to leave that up to chance. Smart man.