NBA Playoffs 2011: Phil Jackson, the Greatest Coach of All Time

Having the temerity of claiming I know how Phil Jackson does it would be absurd. Of course, everyone has an opinion. Yet as the 2011 NBA playoffs begin, we should pay homage to Phil Jackson. He will not be as missed as Red Auerbach by many but should be heralded as the best coach of all time. In any sport.

Most, if not the majority, claim he has had the best talent during his coaching years. Is this really true? A look at the teams on which he has played and coached is appropriate—and of course, a review of other sports, for other sports hold some greats of their own.

To begin with, is coaching the NBA as great as coaching other sports?

Great Coaches in Other Sports

So who is in the mix for the best coach of all time? The GOAT in coaching history.

Let's be bold and claim that we need to include coaches from many sports.

But for time and convenience, let's leave aside the more arcane, like lacrosse, which is strangely making a huge national rise, maybe due to the fact that it is a scholarship sport for both women and men. Let's also leave aside coaches below the college level and in the minors.

Finally, despite its at times fateful determination, longevity is essential. There may have been better coaches, but they had to stay in one sport and at one level.

In some sports, the GOAT is pretty obvious.

In women's college basketball, although many of us would prefer to have a woman reign, Geno Auriemma takes the cake and must be in play. Winner of the Naismith Award a record six times. No other men's and women's coach is close.

While the talent has been very good, this year's team told us more about Auriemma than any other. He managed to win despite inferior talent and one great player. Probably his best coaching effort in history.

Women's basketball has changed over the past 10 years, yet Auriemma has changed with it. An immigrant who...

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