11/26/2012 12:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Who Is the Better Coach, Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich?

This question originally appeared on Quora.
Answer by Dave Hogg, Freelance Sportswriter in Detroit


Phil Jackson is a wonderful manager of difficult personalities. He is brilliant at getting a team with multiple superstars to co-exist, at least for a while. He kept Pippen happy being Michael Jordan's sidekick, and he was able to win titles with Shaq and Kobe until their egos finally blew the team apart. He doesn't build teams, though. He takes over teams that are ready to win titles and leaves when they start to come apart.

Gregg Popovich, though, is a great coach. He's kept the Spurs humming around a core of players, working with the front office to keep adding the parts he needs. His teams consistently play good fundamental basketball and win the games they are supposed to win.

To me, the perfect examples are the 2004 and 2005 NBA Finals. Instead of washing his hands of the whole thing and quitting on the team, Popovich would have done everything in his power to keep the Lakers playing and beat the Pistons.

In 2005, Phil Jackson wouldn't have been interested in even coaching the Spurs, much less beat the Pistons.

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