NBA coaching legend Phil Jackson attended the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference in Boston on Friday, and he had a number of interesting things to say about his time with both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Sean Highkin from USA Today's For The Win, Jackson created a list of power forwards to bring in once Michael Jordan returned back in the summer of 1995. Of those seven power forwards, Dennis Rodman was the last one on the list, yet he ended up being the one the Bulls brought in.
Martin Knezevic from Rant Sports provided us with the name at the top of that list:
Phil Jackson admits Rodman was 7th PF on his list in summer '95...Derrick Coleman the 1st. #SSAC14— Martin Knezevic (@NBAKnez) February 28, 2014
Jovan Buha from Fox Sports tweeted that Jackson claimed he wanted to draft Vlade Divac, despite the fact that he was a smoker:
Despite Vlade Divac being a smoker, Phil Jackson wanted the Bulls to draft him. "He broke his leg -- was probably drunk." #ssac14— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 28, 2014
But Jackson didn't stop with stories about the Bulls. He also opened up about the Lakers, providing these quotes via Steve Kyler from Basketball Insiders and Andres Alvarez from Nerd Numbers:
Phil Jackson says he could never get Shaq on scale... Said Shaq never worked very hard. The game was too easy for him...— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) February 28, 2014
Phil says Kobe wanted to win 4 in a row titles because it would put him at top. He's right, 4 in a row and Kobe > MJ is worse. #SSAC14— Andrés Alvarez (@NerdNumbers) February 28, 2014
It's safe to say that Jackson wasn't afraid to open up during this conference.