Latest News, NBA / Apr 16, 2009 / 2:28 pm

Phil Jackson Would Choose Dwight Over LeBron

LeBron James, Dime #47

LeBron James, Dime #47

Normally I’m reverent about everything that Phil Jackson has to say about basketball. (His Eastern philosophy is a whole other story.) But on the Dan Patrick show, the Zen Master said that if he were building a team from scratch, he would pick Dwight Howard over LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Paul. Can’t say I agree with him this time.

Phil’s argument, which you can listen to here, is that it’s really rare that a team is vaulted into “championship territory” by a two-guard or a small forward. He takes Dwight Howard because he’s a big guy, and traditionally that would be a good decision.

But the League has evolved in a way that drastically devalues a true center. With a huge jump in three-point shooting (three-pointers attempted per game) over the last fifteen years, and the consequential increase in long rebounds, a center’s opportunity to dominate the painted area decreases. There are simply fewer viable chances at rebounds because misses are more likely to careen far away from the basket. And at the same time, teams would rather have someone pull a three if they’re just as likely to make a two.

Howard’s size and strength should alter that equation. Because of his physical dominance, he should be so much more likely to make a two-point shot that it offsets the risk (and reward) of taking a three. But he’s not a sure thing. In fact, he ranks 43rd in the League (according to 82games.com) in field goal percentage on “inside” shots. On the other hand, LeBron is No. 2 in the NBA.

Phil’s assessment is faulty in one other area, too. He simply assumes that you can find some two-guards and three-guards around who can be added to complement Dwight at the pivot. He implies that it’d be really tough to get a post player who can check a guy like Howard if you were building a team around LBJ. In my opinion, I think it’s a whole lot harder to find a guy who can keep LeBron under wraps than to find someone to deal with Dwight.

Do you think that Big Z is an elite post player? He’s got a reliable jump shot, but he, Anderson Varejao and a smattering of other big bodies have complemented LeBron en route to a 39-2 run at home and the NBA’s best record. Cleveland’s bigs are a motley crew. But they still get the job done.

Lastly, I think it’s most important the the best player on your team knows how to make those around him better. Dwight might draw a ton of fouls, but in the flow of a game, he doesn’t do nearly as much for his teammates – despite being doubled on occasion – as LeBron does.

I’d build around James.

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  • Bruce

    Maybe Phil heard Jerome James!

  • hucklebuck

    don’t go crowning James before he wins a title.
    even tho Jackson had MJ as a guard on his Bulls title runs, Jackson had Shaq in LA, and there is no way Kobe would have won those three by himself.

    LeBron is good, and he probably will win a title, but people overlook Howard. Howard should win the Defensive Player of the year but will get snubbed for consideration for MVP.

    Kobe and LeBron are probably the best two players in the league, and we have seen them struggle on their quests to win a title without a dominant big man, so I agree with Jackson.

  • http://deleted Luigi

    Phil Won a title with Kobe….but the main force of that dynasty was Shaq…maybe he was thinkn he could strike gold again n get another Kobe.. if he was able to start a franchise from scratch

  • TJ

    I think the big man argument only works if he is an elite scorer (i.e. Hakeem, DRob, Shaq). The Magic don’t even go to Dwight at the end of games and they are far from a championship team. That’s a big difference from the old Rockets and Lakers.

  • Michorizo

    I like them both…”Would you choose a fine ass Brunette over a fine ass Blonde”…it’s a win-win situation.

  • George W Kush Sr

    Jackson’s not right but he’s not wrong either.

    He’s seen success with both a superstar 2 guard and a superstar center. The difference in both situations is that he had Pippen along with MJ, and then he had Kobe along with Shaq.

    Phil has also seen that his last 2 trips to the Finals have ended in failure with Kobe at prime. The first time Kobe and Shaq were feuding like no tomorrow, turned out there wasn’t after that, and then they got got by Boston last year, with Kobe at helm again.

    Maybe he’s picking Dwight because he figures if they win it this year it’ll be more because of Bynum than Kobe, since he’s already failed twice. I guess what Phil is saying is that its harder to find 2 superstar wings to win a ring with than it is to build with the big man/wing man combo.

    The knock on Howard is his offense, well lets ask the same question again but with a young Shaq, young Kobe, Lebron, Wade or CP3, who would you build around? Gotta admit that the dominant big man is the way to go, he sold like Lebron does now, he’s just as entertaining, and he’s led his team to 3 rings, then rode shotgun for his 4th.

  • http://nerditry.com nerditry

    Or Phil was being Phil.

    Gets to take a shot at Lebron waaaay ahead of them having a chance of meeting in the Finals. In the same vein, what do you think his response would have been if you were to offer Kobe for Dwight, straight up?

    Let’s say this was right before they drafted Bynum and Kobe was still in his post-Shaq, all about me phase. I think Phil would have honestly believed that with the Caron/Lamar/Howard core he’d have a much better, and sooner chance of winning at title at that time. This could have still been the case after the 2005/06 season where Bynum averaged under 10 minutes a night.

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Michorizo…

    Ummmmm….is that how you view Bron and Dwight? LOL

    Maybe he said that because he knew if he said ‘Bron, Dime would post an article that said “Phil Jackson Wishes He Had Lebron Instead Of Kobe”

  • Detroit Dave

    If Yao Ming had Dwight Howard’s stamina I would take him. But Yao plays like he smokes Newport 100’s in between timeouts.

  • Ian

    tj is right id take the big man only if he has the offensive game of the players he mentioned

  • LakeShow84

    If Orlando beats Cleveland (and i think they will) some of you guys are going to feel silly.. and it seems some of the Dime crew might shit themselves and develope Toxic shock syndrome..

    What Phil is really saying is give me Dwight Howard and i would produce a championship.. dont forget the triangle is a post players offense..

    lame aruguement on “Dwight doesnt make his teammates better”.. yeah cuz averaging 14boards and 3-4Blocks a game doesnt do squat for your teammates.. Shit Dwight cleans up most of the defenses mistakes AND has TOO many putbacks.. it aint 7 assists but its all about feeling comfortable..

    get off the jock.. everytime someone says something like this you guys write this dick riding article.. now your arguing with the most winningest coach in all of basketball?? rrriiiiigggghhhhhtttttt…

  • jas

    phil jackson basically explained why the blazers took oden over durant.

    i’d take a big man over a wing anyday

  • B Nice

    LMAO @ Detroit Dave

  • knock knock

    lmao..yea if you have bron you only need a team of 5 former/present all stars to make a championship run with at least two decent 7 footers, former defensive player of the year, and really good role players. And the only year your gonna get to 60 wins is if you are averaging the lowest foul rate in the history of the game because if lebron misses a shot, the refs KNOW he must have been fouled. lmao at all the bullshit calls lebron receives since he’s been to the league

  • LakeShow84

    Take Dwight out of Orlando and throw in Yao, Kaman, or Okafor and that team barely makes the playoffs with a sub .500 record..

  • bobbys

    Considering Yao has been consistently smoking Dwight, I would pick Lebron, Wade, or CP first.

  • oohbz

    lakeshow is the biggest anti-lebron coz he’s a kobenuthugger..lol

  • Scott

    Its inevitable, outside of the Bulls who had Rodman in their last run, and the earlier Bulls, it goes back almost 30 years to a team who didn’t have an at least semi-dominant big man, the Pistons had their crew including Lambeer. Its actually amazing. If you go to the champions list and run down it its hard to find a team other than the Bulls that didn’t have some sort of dominant big in the last 30+ years.

  • Ian

    lakeshow lol kaman and okafor arent in that category and yao isnt a drop off like that he can get a high seed also on that orlando team so dont bring him up. you are talking about being on brons jock but arent you doing the same with howard???

    “now your arguing with the most winningest coach in all of basketball?? rrriiiiigggghhhhhtttttt…”
    oh im sorry but i can coach jordan pippen and rodman to a ring. with this you are sayin phil is the ONLY one that can talk about this??

    btw how u been man?

  • Ian

    scott u r right almost every dominant big man has won a ring. im not sayin chicago was going to lose but they didnt face a team with a dominant big in the finals either.

  • Ian

    lakeshow i forgot english is not my first language but i think there is something wrong with this line you posted “most winningest”

  • Ian

    lakeshow i forgot to tell you english is not my first language but i think there is something wrong with this line you posted “most winningest”

  • Coop

    You take what there is the highest demand for and least supply of; Chris Paul or Howard over Bron or Wade. Are they better players? maybe not. Would they be better to build a winning team around? I say yes.

  • shake&bake

    “Phil’s argument, which you can listen to here, is that it’s really rare that a team is vaulted into “championship territory” by a two-guard or a small forward.” – I find this odd coming from a coach who has had 2 of the best shooting guards of all time.

    I agree with Kermit, that Phil had to say Dwight because it would turn into a Kobe-Lebron thing. But now I’m really hoping for a Cavs-Lakers Finals.

  • KnicksFan84

    I’d build my team around Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury! LOL

  • mole

    typical for anybody involved with the lakers to take shots at lebron. For phil to win another title he needs to have the best player in the league on his teams. Theres no way phil could build a team from scratch and succeed

  • Ian

    mole that was perfect

  • DurrtyInjun

    Do you really think that Phil can’t build up a team? I used to think the same, but after he made the playoffs in a TOUGH West with Smush as his starting PG, Walton at SF, and Kwame as his starting C (with no backup), I think it was time to give him a pass. No one can win a Chip without talent, and what he did with that team was a major accomplishment IMO.

    Unless you can tell me who you think built a team from scratch AND won a Chip (cause thats all that matters), I have to disagree.

  • John

    For me D.Howard is the best big men of the league. But just because there is nobody else . Lebron James it is a fantastic player, I would take Lebron over Howard any day. Young Shaq though is another storie.

  • alex

    with the exception of the MJ-led Bulls, there’s always a good big man that won the chip year after year. KG last year, Duncan, Shaq, Hakeem – even Rasheed qualifies, as the Pistons wouldn’t have won without him.

    We can’t do a direct comparison between LBJ, Wade, CP3, and Dwight because the players surrounding them were brought in to complement their talents.

    I guess he just comes from the old-school thinking that “you can’t teach height”. and I agree.

  • karizmatic

    I would like to know which of you wrote this article. For starters before I tear this thing down. I’d also pick Lebron. But your argument for why that is, is way off. There is only one thing that has diminished a center’s importance and that is the sometimes use of the zone….which is to say a center’s importance to the game is more than vital. It is true a great post player is one in a generation. A great wing man you can find anywhere. Just look at the league. Kobe, Wade, LBJ, VC, T-MAc (if heatlthy, Ray, Paul Pierce, Come on it is way easier to find a great two or 3 than it is to find a great center…and once you have a great center it makes average wings look like allstars. Shaq has been proving that for years. There is a reason conventional wisdom is conventional wisdom. A great center is always more valuable than a great wing. There are a few players who are an exception to this. Of course MJ is one…and the correct argument is that you start a team with LBJ because LBJ the other wing player who is an exception in this generation. So I agree with your conclusion but your reasoning is more than flawed.

  • Ian

    no he didnt build a team he took what was there when he came in and got them to the playoffs but big deal when more than half the teams make it. he didnt build the bulls he didnt build the three peat lakers hes great managing superstars but NO he cant build a team. phil isnt the best coach in the nba imo.

    yeah thats kinda the same thing someone said that howard doesnt have the offense to be drafted over bron like the 90s centers.

  • doug

    you tool editors and journalist at dime oppose anything or anyone that opposes bron. It appears as though his endorsers have bought you guys off too, damn Bron-Zombies it started with ESPN and now the cult following has picked up so many recruits it aint funny.Phil has coached 9 championship teams I think I value what he has to say regarding who he’d start a franchise with a little more than any of you guys writing for dime magazine. You guys have proven your opinion can be bought off and that your devout following for Lebron is more important than anything logical anyone credible like Phil Jackson has to say. Dime yall lose respect in Cali everyday. Please refer to blog post#2″don’t go crowning James before he wins a title”this is something you guys constantly have to be reminded of because yall be getting butt hurt when you find out NBA fans with half a brain haven’t fallen into the bron-zombie trance yet.

  • stefan

    In the article you mention the long rebounds. I think that this is not an appropriate argument, since Howard is a new type of center, with an incredible athleticism at 7 feet. He goes way up for the rebounds and many times he takes down the long ones. So in that sense he is dominating inside.
    Still that’s a bad choice for PJ since Howard has just 1 post move.

  • doug

    I agree with you Ian as far as phil not building teams from scratch his sucess has given him the esteemed privelege of being able to select the teams he coaches but that only came after my dude one as many titles as he has. Don’t agree with you on the part that Phil isn’t the best coach in the L. Who do you put ahead of the cat he has 9 titles and he’s competed for 11. Ian you’ll be hard pressed to even put POP up to dude without looking foolish. He’s lapped dude almost three times when it comes to ships.

  • http://www.geocities.com/dagomardeg Dagomar

    Normally I’d always pick the big man. Jordan and Lebron are just freakish exceptions (and Lebron hasn’t won a title yet).

  • the cynic

    I agree with Phil

  • Red

    LOL at knock knock’s post. That’s some serious hating going on there, bro.

  • Ian

    doug where have u been?
    actually its pop and many people put sloan also
    remember the discussion kenny and barkley had of what coach they would choose for a game 7 and they said pop easy
    like u say alot i think they know what they are talking about when they rank phil as 3rd behing pop and sloan (dont know about sloan no rings its hard to put up there but no coy awards is a joke).

    phil needs 3 more to lap pop 3 times lol he got him over twice but pop has gotten 4 chips building a team cant say the same from phil he always had 2 of the top 5 players in the league hes great but hes not the best.

    u cant pick when titles count if i say duncan is better than kobe because he has won more u come up with something but now you are tryin to use that same reasoning with phil???

    you can bash away at my post but i dont think im wrong sayin pop is better than phil and its not like im insulting phil with this.

  • bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    1. dwight still has way more potential while yao i maxed out.

    2. dwight can effect the game in more ways than lebron. both can give you 20+ points but dwight will get you more boards, blocks and alter more shots. lebron has assists but his blocks are all from behind.

    3. dwight is younger than them all.

    4. wade is the only one on the list with a ring so ya.

    5. It will be much easier for dwight to devlop a better post game than the others to improve their weak areas.

    6. its phil fuckin jackson…thats like sayin red aurbach is wrong when he says something. He won with shaq, he won with kobe, he won with jordan, i think he knows what hes talkin about.

  • rlf

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! you choosing lebron, the world will end right now!

    the day you guys choose another player, it will really be the day the world ends. you are so up lebron’s that you cannot see beyond that.

  • bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @ian, and while phil might not hand pick the players, he does build the team. Ask steve kerr and terry porter if managing talent is more important than picking the players. Phil wouldn’t have won shit in chicago if he couldn’t handle rodman. The dodgers wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if joe couldnt handle manny. And what has sloan done other than win a bunch of games with nothing to really show for it. its not like hes built much either. Phil is able to get the most out of his role players all while usually mellowing out the egos of his dominant players long enough to max them out too. If thats not coaching I don’t know what is. Cuz theres tons of good coaches out there who can’t win anything since they don’t get the most out of people.

  • bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    p.s: dwight does count as an elite scorer. He may not be hakeem but if he can put up 20+ a game with the lame ass moves that you guys wanna make it, you might not like it but hes still elite. Thats like saying lebron isn’t an elite scorer cuz he really can’t shot. Doesn’t matter. he still puts up buckets. People rarely shut dwight down so hes doing something right.

  • Ian

    no howard is not an elite scorer and did i say phil cant coach? did i say what is more important? NO
    btw phil won before rodman. he doesnt build teams period does that take away from what he has done NO but its a fact he likes to come into set situations with superstars.

    elite scoring centers i think admiral hakeem wilt shit like that no way howard can touch centers that can score from anywhere

  • Ian

    bron wow reading my post again seems like im bashing or yelling opps my bad its all calm just posting my opinions

  • LakeShow84

    Lol @ 17 saying im on Kobes nuts.. i was just thinking this today too.. and i know this will add to my list of haters.. Andrew Bynum is my favorite Laker.. WHAT?!

    Iaaaannnn!! waddup doo.. Hope all is well with ya! u been layin low since Manu went out.. lets hope we STILL meetup in the playoffs my friend.. And winngingest was the best i could think of on the fly lol..

    And thank you Bron42.. Dwight puts up 20+ a night so you cant say he has NO offense.. Pryzbilla and Okafor have NO defense.. Dwight being compared to Shaq messed him up because he is expected to have a HOF’s skill set and he clearly doesnt..

  • DurrtyInjun

    If your main point is that Phil is not the BEST coach then I got nothing to argue with you. I know its really not this simple, but if you put Phil with Pops teams, I don’t think he wins it all, but on the other hand if you switch it around, Pops def could get it done (assuming the players bought into his style).

    Still I can’t hate on Phil, cuz I still can’t think of a coach who built a team from scratch and one a Chip. Pops may be the closest, but he had to lose badly for one year to luck into Duncan.

    Phil also was able to get the Lakers over the mental hump in year 1 with the Lakers to rally them past the Blazers. He’s good at what he does.

  • doug

    ian that’s retarded that your saying phil can’t coach and he’s won 9 ships… you do remember doug collins was coaching that same Bulls team before phil got there? you do also remember Del Harris was coaching that same laker team that Phil also three peated with? come on Ian that’s ridiculous and no I don’t listen to barkley or kenny smith, especially barkley he sounds innebriated every time he talks. I spelled it that way on purpose

  • UncheckedAggression

    Lakeshow84–You really think the Magic are going to beat the Cavs? Way to lose any credibility you might have had with non-Lakers fans!

    Picking Dwight over Lebron would be a HUGE mistake. Does anyone remember what happens when teams key in on that guy? He becomes almost worthless. He has no idea what to do with the ball outside of 10 feet. So if Phil wanted Dwight, I’d tell him to feel free.

    Definitely a good point (someone said it) that Phil has coached 2 of the best 2’s ever to play the game. How can he talk?

  • Big Island

    The only reason Phil said that is that he didn’t want to hurt Kobe’s feelings. There is NO WAY you take Dwight over LeBron. No way. Young Shaq, Hakeem, yeah, you take them, but Dwight is neither.

    Don’t get it twisted, Phil didn’t want to hurt Kobe’s feelings.

  • the cynic

    best coaches in the league

    1. Zen Master
    1A. Pops

    Everyone pointing out Phil winning with the 2 best shooting guards ever don’t know what they are talking about cause Pops won with the best PF ever. When Pops wins without Duncan, and wins with another great player he can be 1 and Phil can be 1A. If the Spurs win this year without Ginome, he is the greatest coach ever. Definitely the 2 best coaches in the league either way though

  • ShowKase

    Eh…..another LeBromance article. I think I’ll go with the guy who has two handfuls of rings over internet sports journalists. No offense Dime and readers.

  • Ian

    wow doug i cant even answer that you are making stuff up didnt i say phil is great????

    how many seasons did collins had with jordan and pippen together???

    yeah doug call me retarded because i think phil is the second best coach in the league but dont make stuff up like he cant coach
    go reread my posts i bet ull find hes an alltime great and that hes great managing superstars but hey we all know what type of fan u r and how personal u like to get when someone doesnt like something about the lakers.

    durrty i think u r right
    and thats all im sayin im not sayin the man cant coach u cant win 9 times and be a bum. and pop with lady luck on his side kinda built the spurs.

    u cant compare the teams pops and phil have managed phil had more talent.

  • Celts Fan

    Damn, y’all suck Phil off and hate on Dime for picking Bron, but wtf has Dwight ever won. If you get guys on an even skill level, you take the big guy. Dwight has no real offense outside 3 ft. AMAZIng defender, but you gotta take Bron.

    Dwight will almost definitely finish as a Hall of Famer, but LeBron’s looking like an all time great. To me, it’s not even close…

  • haslem

    lbj obv! phil’s just playing his mind games. either that or I venture to belive he has such great faith in his coaching he thinks he can turn Dwight into Shaq.

  • bola

    its Lebron against the world again..

    I am a big fan of both guys ( both jump from HS and showed the league and the world what they can do in the centerstage, i also like KB24, T-Mac and other straight from HellSchool Ballers, not all of them ofcourse.)

    But guys, it is obvious how much LBJ has caused a difference in Cavs b-ball, no one watches them before, they never win as much games, they were never hated before cause it’s futile to hate a team which couldn’t beat or even threaten your team. it was the same scenario with kobe before, they hate him cause he’s winning ( or beating your team’s into a pulp, you can take it anyway you wanted!) Good call by Dime,Winning 9 NBA rings with talent-heavy teams ( Shaq, KB, MJ, Pips, Rodzilla) doesn’t make you a b-ball god, right? He’s a great controller of superstar players but is no way a dependable guy on who to pick. Also, now is not the time to offend your only hope in getting back to the top of the NBA.. I really want to see KOBE vs LBJ on the finals, if only Boston and San Antonio would just lie down and die..

  • jp2506
  • the cynic


    that’s debatable. Phil and Pop have had similar talent I think, but a different kind. They both nuture good talent to be great. When its all said and done the laker 3 peat teams will have 2 HOF and so will the Spurs 3 odd year teams

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    Celts Fan,

    I’m with you 100%. This isn’t about a “LeBromance,” no matter how great it is that someone came up with that word.

    Believing that LeBron is a better player than Dwight Howard doesn’t mean that we – or anybody else for that matter – is kowtowing to James.

    Also, Phil Jackson is a great coach, but just because someone has outstanding credentials doesn’t mean that their argument should be accepted on face value.

    – AK

  • QQ

    Yay for Phil Jackson! LOL.

  • Marvin

    I think Phil’s argument comes from the fact that on the last 60 years + of the league’s existence, majority of the teams that wins championships were anchored by good to great bigmen.

    50’s lakers were anchored by G. Mikan
    60’s celtics and warriors/76ers were anchored by B. Russell and W. Chamberlain
    70’s celtics, knicks & bucks were anchored by D. Cowens, W. Reed and L. Alcindor (K. Abdul-Jabbar) respectively
    80’s lakers and celtics were anchored by K. Abdul Jabbar and R. Parish
    90’s rockets was anchored by H. Olajuwon
    00’s lakers and spurs were anchored by S. O’neal and T. Duncan

    Of these only the 90’s bulls and 80’s pistons which combines only 8 championships were anchored by M. Jordan and I. Thomas which proves that building championship caliber team on a wing or a guard is more of an exception than the rule.

    Assuming D. Howard refines his offense Phil thinks that he will dominate a whole decade of basketball and the fact that bigmen play closer to the basket than wings and guards makes it easier for them to get scores and play as the last line of defense.

    And in any type of league whether it be the NBA, NBDL, NCAAs, Preps, Playground whatever, it’s always easier to play basketball when there is a bigman which you could feed the ball into for a score. Inside out basketball is just better period.

  • Markito

    damn, Phil Jackson has 9 NBA rings people. Can I just repeat that? He has delivered results, 3 sets of three-peats. He is entitled to his opinion even if you think he was just handed great players.

    phil jackson is the master of mind games. I think this is his jab at Lebron before the play-offs. Hope LBJ gets ticked and dominates. It’s good basketball for us.

    That being said, I’d still take on LBJ over Dwight. Even if the big man is the logical pick for a team who wants to win a championship.

  • jjankechu

    i suspect phil is just messing with kb’s head again.

    “Phil’s argument, which you can listen to here, is that it’s really rare that a team is vaulted into “championship territory” by a two-guard or a small forward.”

    you might read that a few different ways.

    1) kobe & MJ have both won championships, so they’re in rare/elite territory.

    2a) MJ is better than kobe because he won with longley/wennington. 2b) kobe hasn’t won without a dominant big yet; that’s motivation for him to get that chip this year. kobe, kobe, tell me how my ass taste!

    3) phil thinks that pau gasol = wennington because they rock beards?

  • SagJism

    Funny how all these poeple on this site who probably never even picked up an NBA b-ball can say the coach who is tied for the most NBA championships wins is wrong and does nto know what he is talking about. Hmmmm……. How many rings does Phil J. Have? How many times has he been to the finals? Now the main question, how many times have you been to the NBA finals? Oh I see none, then STFU talking about Phil like you know more about the NBA game than he does. STFU and be a fan like all the rest of us.

  • SKD

    Thats just Phil playing mind games. Really tho he does this all the time i dont know why any of you are taking this so seriously.

  • Chicagorilla

    This all seems like a mental game Phil is playing with Andrew Bynum or Kobe. Phil can’t be that stupid. A center without 2 post moves (Howard) or a wing player that dominates the L (Lebron, Wade, Paul). Its simple logic, you go for the complete player with the “all of the above” skill set. Dwight has a chance to be great, but he seems like he’s topped out already. His jumper will always be terrible, and if he hasn’t learned a finesse move by now he never will.

    Think for a second, how many big men have Phil actually nurtured into better players? Ho Grant…nope, Stacy King…nope, Luc Longley…nope, Jason Caffey…hell no, Toni Kukoc…nope, Shaq…nope, Kwamae Brown….nope, Andrew Bynum…not yet. Basically all these guys left Phil Jackson with the same skill set they had when they first played for him. Phil is a great motivator and he can manage a team, but he doesn’t teach them, when it comes to x’s and o’s everyone knows that’s Text winter.

    Take his comments for what they really are, just some stuff to get Kobe or Bynum going.

  • nao_diga

    Nice article.

    But even long ago, the big man mythology isn’t supported by the facts.

    Dave Cowan Celtics anyone? He wasn’t the most important player on those teams–you could have replaced him with a few of the centers in the league at the time and the Celtics would have been just as good.

    Same with Willis Reed (at the end of his career) and the Knicks. You need a servicable center to go along with an outstanding wingman, but there are many more servicable centers than outstanding ones. Yes Willis helped them win their last chip aganst LA, but that was because they didn’t have any real center without him.

    That’s why Bill Fitch was an idiot for convincing Portland to take Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan.

    Dwight Howard is a better center than Bowie was, but Lebron with a decent big man will go farther than Howard with a decent wingman.

  • E$

    Kobe a sensitive person, saying he would take LBJ would hurt his feelings. We all know what this is…….

  • ProphetGK

    LOL at 67… Phil don’t like Lebron cuz he can’t shoot like Kobe or MJ :)

  • Chicagorilla

    “But even long ago, the big man mythology isn’t supported by the facts”

    Also I would like to know how many Big men won the Finals MVP or the season MVP when their team was winning the NBA Championships.

  • oohbz


    wow.. okafor and pryzbilla has no defense.. they woundn’t be in the league if not for their defense.. way to go nuthugger..lol

  • Ian

    big man mythology???? dude almost all dominant centers have won rings
    only one player has won multiple rings without a dominant big (it also helped he didnt face a team with a dominant big in the finals).

    and the portland pick wasnt a mistake do you think that jordan was the same dude from the three peats and didnt portland already have drexler???

    its easier to replace a guards production than a big mans this isnt hard to understand

    i kinda agree with most of your stuff.

  • LakeShow84

    @ oohbz – i meant offense you dip.. just watch my boys take apart the competetion this year ok pumpkin??

    My main arguement against the ARTICLE is we have already been over this.. now Phil jackson says it and we STILL argue for Lebron.. and funny how people say Dwight aint accomplished when Lebron aint accomplished nothin but a Finals DRUBBING..

    @ unchecked aggression

    Your mighty Cavs are 3-6 against the Elite teams of the league.. and since they have been so cozy with the garbage teams @ home it wouldnt surprise me at all.. If KG was playing i would say the Celtics would knock them off..

    but like i said.. why are we even discussing this?? i would take Dwade over both of em.. a proven clutch player who dominates no matter what.. too bad his Finals MVP & Ring are somehow cast in Lebrons shadow..

  • DOwn 41

    Queen James was down 41 82 to Howards Magic.

    F Queen James

    lost 8 of 11 to the Magic since 2006 bring em on

  • doc

    Dwight a beast and everything but give me the King.

  • Bizz

    Logically it makes sense as Dwight is a freak of nature, and with proper coaching and development, has potential to be one of the most dominant big men of all time. 7 feet centers who win slam dunk competitions don’t come around that often, much less have the athletic ability of Dwight. The problem I find with picking Dwight over LeBron, is that there are intangibles that LeBron has that Dwight does not and may not ever develop, such as leadership, being more clutch in big-game pressure scenerios, and also making players around him much better (Mo Williams is an all-star, for post #31 who was using the “Shaq” theory) LeBron is also a physical beast himself for his position, who is built to guard just about anybody on the court, and athletic enough to keep up with smaller, quicker players.

    All in all, it was just Phil Jackson’s way of taking a shot at LeBron without really taking a shot at LeBron. But there is nothing wrong with picking Dwight to start your franchise. There really are only 5 guys in this league worth max money that you can build a team around and make a case for that particular player to justify not picking the other 4. LeBron, Flash, Kobe, CP3 and D12.

  • belloblock

    sometimes nba teams draft the best talent available..out of these two id go with lebron

    btw, if phoenix pulled off the trade sending shaq to clev it would of been a wrap