Whichever way you slice it, Phil Jackson will be remembered as the most successful coach in NBA history. His 1,155 regular-season wins, 229 postseason victories and 11 championships (a North American pro sports record) all stand as the most noteworthy of the many achievements accumulated by the Zen Master during his 20 seasons of stalking sidelines in the Association.
But no coach, however brilliant, can succeed by any measure (much less by P-Jax's impossibly high standards) without plenty of help from his jersey-wearing friends. Jackson has indeed been fortunate to have had at his disposal an impressive array of talent that, between his stints with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, has included a litany of Hall of Famers, All-Stars and pitch-perfect role players.
With Jackson entering his third NBA season as little more than Jeanie Buss' arm candy—with a dip into the world of television on the side—it's all too easy to forget just how many great players he's had the privilege of coaching. With that in mind, and in celebration of Phil's 68th birthday, we've decided to put together a roster of Phil's 12 best players—five starters, seven reserves.
That may seem a simple enough task, until you consider that the likes of B.J. Armstrong, Ron Harper, John Paxson and Andrew Bynum (to name a few) didn't quite make the cut. Click on to find out who did!