Ex-Warriors HC Jackson Dishes on Michael Jordan's Bulls vs. Kobe Bryant's Lakers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2020

Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of Game 6 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Mark Jackson faced numerous elite teams during his 17-year NBA career, including the 1998 Chicago Bulls and 2000 Los Angeles Lakers, but he couldn't decide which was better.

The ESPN analyst and former Golden State Warriors coach broke down the two, via Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated:

"Those two teams are two all-time great teams. There was some all-time great talent. Kobe would get his, Michael would get his, Shaq would certainly get his, Scottie would get his and Dennis Rodman would, too. It’s tough to say. I just look back and appreciate the greatness of both of those teams and what they were able to accomplish."

Jackson was the starting point guard for the Indiana Pacers in 1998, a team that took Michael Jordan and the Bulls to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the eventual NBA champions. Two years later, Jackson and the Pacers reached the NBA Finals but lost to Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

The 55-year-old had high praise for Bryant, who he called "the best player in the game" during his years as an announcer.

"As a fan of the game, I looked at him and appreciated everything about him," he said of Kobe. "Not just in terms of his greatness, but how passionate and hard he worked."

He also had respect for Jordan but thought the Pacers should have won it all in 1998 with Reggie Miller leading the way.

"We believed that we were the better basketball team," Jackson said. "We believed we had every answer for the problems they presented."

Jackson spent time with seven organizations in his career but never won a title.