Wednesday, May 30

Jackson cites Bryant's playmaking skills news services

So who's the better all-around player, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan?

Kobe Bryant

One might want to ask Phil Jackson since he's the only one to coach both players.

Comparing the two players, the current Lakers and former Chicago Bulls coach said Saturday that Bryant has demonstrated a better all-around game than any other player he has coached -- including Michael Jordan.

"Kobe's become the floor leader of a basketball team that was kind of looking for that nature of a player, who could not only be a scorer, but also be a playmaker or consistently make big plays at critical times," Jackson said. "So it was very important for Kobe to step into that role that he was envisioned at. I've always held the bar up very high for Kobe, and he's not only reached that bar, but he's jumping over the top of it right now.

"And I think it's the best that I've ever seen a player of mine play with an overall court game. I'm asking him to do so much, and he's accomplishing it."

Jackson was quickly asked for a clarification. That includes Michael Jordan?

"I never asked Michael to be a playmaker," Jackson said. "That's the greatest player that I've ever had, that I could consider the greatest player in the game, and I never asked him to be a playmaker in those terms. I asked him to be playmaker when he was doubled or tripled. But Kobe has to set up the offense, to advance the ball, to read the defense, to make other players happy, and he's doing a great job of that."

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