Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and the 25 Greatest Players to Play For Phil Jackson

Daniel SzewczykCorrespondent IMay 9, 2011

Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and the 25 Greatest Players to Play For Phil Jackson

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    If all of Phil Jackson's hopes and dreams come true, he coached his final NBA game yesterday, during which his L.A. Lakers were demolished by the Dallas Mavericks en route to a Western Conference Semifinals series sweep.

    Although Jackson's career probably didn't end the way he had imagined, he will arguably go down as the greatest head coach in NBA history.

    He has coached some of the greatest players and teams the league has ever seen. He has accumulated 13 championships (11 as a coach) throughout his illustrious career, holds a winning percentage of .704 (highest in NBA coaching history) and is the only coach out of any of North America's major professional sports to win more than 10 championship rings.

    In order to achieve all of these accomplishments, Jackson definitely needed to receive some help from the athletes playing on the court. He received that help and much more from his players. He has coached some of the greatest players ever, who have helped him succeed beyond his imagination.

    Here is a list of the 25 greatest playing careers under Jackson's tutelage. I'm only taking into account the years they played under Jackson. I did not take into account the amount of years they spent under Jackson or the amount of games they played, but how they contributed to Jackson's teams.

    Enjoy!

Honorable Mention

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    Kwame Brown

    Matt Barnes

    AC Green

    Steve Kerr

    John Paxson

    Shannon Brown

    Ronny Turiaf

25. Chris Mihm

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 3

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 0

    Games Played: 100

    MPG: 19.26

    PPG: 7.22

    RPG: 4.84

    APG: .87

    SPG: .20

    BPG: .93

24. Samaki Walker

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 2

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 1

    Games Played: 136

    MPG: 21.32

    PPG: 5.56

    RPG: 6.24

    APG: .94

    SPG: .35

    BPG: 1.05

23 Robert Horry

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 4

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 317

    MPG: 24.46

    PPG: 6.35

    RPG: 5.21

    APG: 2.24

    SPG: .98

    BPG: .90

22. Rick Fox

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 5

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 360

    MPG: 25.22

    PPG: 7.86

    RPG: 3.71

    APG: 2.87

    SPG: .80

    BPG: .26

21. Ron Harper

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 6

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 5

    Games Played: 444

    MPG: 23.93

    PPG: 7.28

    RPG: 3.11

    APG: 2.66

    SPG: 1.17

    BPG: .47

20. Bill Cartwright

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 5

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 319

    MPG: 24.88

    PPG: 8.38

    RPG: 5.20

    APG: 1.56

    SPG: .38

    BPG: .25

19. Luc Longley

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 5

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 261

    MPG: 24.25

    PPG: 8.91

    RPG: 5.33

    APG: 2.13

    SPG: .43

    BPG: 1.07

18. Derek Fisher

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 9

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 5

    Games Played: 660

    MPG: 28.03

    PPG: 8.93

    RPG: 2.15

    APG: 2.87

    SPG: 1.14

    BPG: .09

17. Trevor Ariza

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 2

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 1

    Games Played: 106

    MPG: 22.96

    PPG: 8.35

    RPG: 4.11

    APG: 1.71

    SPG: 1.54

    BPG: .30

16. Ron Artest

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 2

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 1

    Games Played: 159

    MPG: 31.54

    PPG: 9.70

    RPG: 3.76

    APG: 1.53

    SPG: 1.45

    BPG: .36

15. Smush Parker

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 2

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 0

    Games Played: 164

    MPG: 25.79

    PPG: 11.27

    RPG: 2.91

    APG: 3.23

    SPG: 1.58

    BPG: .16

14. Andrew Bynum

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 6

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 2

    Games Played: 332

    MPG: 24.28

    PPG: 10.46

    RPG: 7.13

    APG: 1.13

    SPG: .30

    BPG: 1.54

13. BJ Armstrong

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 6

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 491

    MPG: 25.94

    PPG: 10.90

    RPG: 1.84

    APG: 3.39

    SPG: .80

    BPG: .08

12. Glen Rice

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 1

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 1

    Games Played: 80

    MPG: 31.63

    PPG: 15.90

    RPG: 4.09

    APG: 2.20

    SPG: .59

    BPG: .15

11. Gary Payton

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 1

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 0

    Games Played: 82

    MPG: 34.45

    PPG: 14.62

    RPG: 4.17

    APG: 5.48

    SPG: 1.17

    BPG: .23

10. Karl Malone

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 1

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 0

    Games Played: 42

    MPG: 32.70

    PPG: 13.20

    RPG: 8.74

    APG: 3.88

    SPG: 1.19

    BPG: .48

9. Toni Kukoc

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 5

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 368

    MPG: 28.10

    PPG: 13.28

    RPG: 4.48

    APG: 4.02

    SPG: 1.04

    BPG: .39

8. Horace Grant

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson:7

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 4

    Games Played: 518

    MPG: 32.94

    PPG: 11.92

    RPG: 8.44

    APG: 2.42

    SPG: 1.01

    BPG: 1.05

7. Dennis Rodman

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 3

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 199

    MPG: 34.63

    PPG: 5.21

    RPG: 15.26

    APG: 2.81

    SPG: .58

    BPG: .32

6. Lamar Odom

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 6

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 2

    Games Played: 455

    MPG: 34.91

    PPG: 13.44

    RPG: 9.35

    APG: 3.75

    SPG: .88

    BPG: .87

5. Pau Gasol

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 4

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 2

    Games Played: 255

    MPG: 36.71

    PPG: 18.69

    RPG: 10.04

    APG: 3.42

    SPG: .59

    BPG: 1.44

4. Scottie Pippen

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 9

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 6

    Games Played: 681

    MPG: 37.88

    PPG: 19.55

    RPG: 7.22

    APG: 5.90

    SPG: 2.26

    BPG: .96

3. Kobe Bryant

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 11

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 5

    Games Played: 837

    MPG: 38.72

    PPG: 27.83

    RPG: 5.73

    APG: 5.14

    SPG: 1.64

    BPG: .49

2. Shaquille O'Neal

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 5

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 3

    Games Played: 354

    MPG: 38.15

    PPG: 27.04

    RPG: 11.99

    APG: 3.33

    SPG: .55 

    BPG: 2.56

1. Michael Jordan

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    Seasons under Phil Jackson: 8

    NBA Championships with Phil Jackson: 6

    Games Played: 585

    MPG: 37.80

    PPG: 30.79

    RPG: 6.34

    APG: 5.07

    SPG: 2.30

    BPG: .71

Questions/Comments/Concerns

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    Do you believe I'm missing someone on my list?

    Do you disagree with the order of my list?

    Feel free to let me know if you believe I'm wrong or if you agree with my entire list!

    LET THE DEBATING BEGIN!!!

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