Red’s still better than Phil | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
Red's Army

Red’s still better than Phil

I'm not just saying that because our site's named after him.  I'm not saying Phil's a bad coach.  He's a great coach.  But he's not the greatest coach.  Red's the best ever… and it's not even a discussion.

We've heard the arguments before… but they're worth reiterating.  Phil Jackson had two players in the NBA's "Top 50" team… one of who was Jordan… at a time where the NBA talent pool was watered down because of expansion.  Then, after he left Chicago, he hand-picked an LA team with Shaq and Kobe still on the squad. 

So Phil walked into at least a few of his titles.  That's not to take away from Phil.  You have to be damn good to win that many titles in any era.  But he's not Red.  No one is.  Red built and led a team whose domination spanned decades… plural.  He didn't jump to another team after one team started to decline.  And in the discussion of whether you are the GREATEST coach of all time… that matters.

I'm not trying to detract from the Lakers title.  They were a good team this year and they deserved to win.  Phil is a great coach and he needs to be discussed as one of the all-time greats.  I'm not going to say that he's not.

But what I'm getting very sick of is the notion that somehow yesterday, Phil Jackson wasn't the greatest of all time… and today he is.  It's such a typical mainstream media/sports talk radio overreaction.  Eras are different.  Would Phil have been great back then?  Would Red have had the patience to be good now?  Who knows.  I'm just sick of this silly discussion.

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  • rod

    red: 9 rings with 11 HOFers
    phil: 10 rings with 4 HOFers
    end of discussion

  • “Red built and led a team whose domination spanned decades… plural”
    lakers dominated the 50’s (4 titles, 5 appearances)
    celts dominated the 60’s
    no body dominated the 70’s
    lakers dominated the 80’s (5 titles, 8 appearances)
    bulls dominated the 90’s
    lakers dominated the 00’s (4 titles, 6 appearances)
    10 > 9 last time i checked
    red’s best move was drafting russel, which i give him full credit for.

  • Yes, it is silly-we all know Red is/was better.

  • You know how to use Wikipedia-great. I think you missed the point…Troll..

  • thetitleisours
  • thetitleisours

    Imagine if Stern allowed us to keep Al Jef, or if LA had to give away something of value for the Pau trade?
    League assist for the Fakers

  • Red_Auerach

    Settle down my Suckdic fans. There is no need to defend me. I am admitting it right now that Phil Jackson is far superior coach than me.
    I mean seriously, I coached in a time when the NBA had about 8 to 12 teams. Today the NBA has 30, so there is much more competition now. I coached during a time where the playoffs did not have 4 rounds, like they do today. Phil has more playoff wins than I do, a higher winning percentage than I do (and the teams play more games today too) and now has more titles than I do. Face it my fellow lovers of Bawwston, Phil is better than me.
    BTW: If Kobe wears a purple thong, then I must admit, I wear a f*ggy green g-string.
    Love, Red Auerbach

  • PhilWears10Rings

    10 rings > 9 rings
    How many ‘ships did MJ have before phil went to Chicago???? Same question but with Kobe and shaq??? Kbai

  • thetitleisours

    Hey Lake-whores fans, Phil couldn’t even beat Doc Rivers :-))))))

  • rod

    more like thibedou beat phil. you are a moron if you think doc beat phil.

  • Mo

    The fact that you say, “it’s not even a discussion,” shows that you’ve come to your conclusion without even looking at the evidence. Jackson significantly improved the Lakers after Rudy-T coached them (with the same squad) and then took them back to win a championship. Rudy-T is no slouch. Yes Jackson had Jordan and Pippen, but Red had Russell, Cousy, Havlicek and Sam Jones (four top 50 players). The Jazz also had two top 50 players and never won a championship. Also, it says something about the effect of Red as a coach that they didn’t miss a beat when Red stepped down as coach and Russell took over as player-coach. That one could even be a player-coach in that era speaks volumes of how coaching has become far more difficult today.
    That’s not Red’s fault and he is a great coach no matter the era and would win multiple rings no matter the era, but probably not as many as he did dealing with the era of free agency and salary caps.

  • Uncle Leo

    It is a silly discussion. You can’t take two guys from different era’s and say for a fact one was better than the other. However in terms of career achievement phil does have more rings than red now and as much as much as us boston people like to cheapen it by playing the “he only wins with the best players” argument, you should really step back and realize Phil is pretty much exactly like Red in terms of what they like to see on a basketball court. They weren’t player coaches and weren’t big playbook guys. Team ball was their objective.
    The bulls went through four big name coaches in just six years and even though michael was great there was no one who could see him winning a championship playing the way he wanted to, and no coach would dare make a fuss. After phil came in and told him that they would never win as long as he was the scoring leader every season and put in a system to get other guy’s opportunities, along with jordan cooperating, was when they became ridiculous.
    Red and Russel, Phil and Jordan. The player/coach combo’s that win many championships are a testament to the abilities of both people. They all become legendary because of how they worked together to win. However, Russel did pretty much win at Los Angeles against an enormously favored and stacked lakers when he was about 143 years old without Red, so maybe it was just Russel. just kidding *flamesuit on*.

  • Chad


  • westcoast21

    Walked into titles? Are you kidding me?
    Red had no dominant players on his teams whatsoever?
    I guess you’re right, he had some really crappy players in Bob Cousy, Frank Ramsey, Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, K.C Jones, Bill Sharman, Sam Jones, Bailey Howell, and John Havlicek.
    They were so crappy that all nine made the hall-of-fame.
    The best coach in NBA history was defined last night.
    Red and Phil were pretty even before last night, it was arguable. But now that one has 10 titles, Phil is now on top.
    Sorry to bust your bubble Celtic fans. Come to reality now.

  • FisherWears4Rings

    he has a lot of point(s)…plural.
    i understand you standing up for him and all, but phil has him beat, and i think its without arguement pj is the best coach ever. 10 rings i know its being tossed around to much lately but its the sweet truth.

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    Doesn’t Red have 16 rings altogether for coaching and management?

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    That makes him the “lord of the rings”, end of discussion.

  • TimDuncan375

    lmao, phil jackson is hands down better than red. don’t get me wrong, red’s impressive 8-peat is great and so is phil jackson’s 3 series of 3-peats with the bulls and the lakers. i don’t even care about phil’s 10 over red’s 9.
    the bottom line is, red’s “champions” were champions in a league with barely 10-11 teams. phil’s titles happened in an nba with 25+ teams. it’s a lot tougher to win a nba championship today then it was in that sorry league of the past.
    There’s no chance in hell that a NBA team TODAY wins 4 or more straight. Back then, it was easier because of no luxury tax, less stringent salary cap rules, near endless free agent signings. sorry red, looks like you’ll be remembered as the second best coach in nba history, except to celtic fans.