Phil Jackson told Eagles one key difference between Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant
The Philadelphia Eagles were in for a treat when 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson appeared on a Zoom conference call with them in late May. The Zen Master reportedly spoke about “The Last Dance” documentary, which featured the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 season and numerous other events involving the dynasty years.
According to Tim McManus of ESPN, while talking about the 10-part documentary series, Jackson told the Eagles about one key difference between the leadership styles of Bulls legend Michael Jordan and late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, both of whom Jackson mentored through his Hall of Fame coaching career in the NBA:
Jackson dished on the series, gave insight into the differences between Michael Jordan’s and Kobe Bryant’s approaches (Jordan rode his teammates hard and cussed them out, while Bryant set the tone by never allowing himself to be outworked) and stressed the importance of everyone on the team taking pride in their roles, no matter how big or small.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham learned a lot from the short call with the legendary NBA coach. One thing that stuck with him from that call was how how getting everybody to know their role and play it to the best of their abilities is key to the kind of success that Jordan and Bryant had:
“[Jackson] was talking about some of the guys that went unnoticed that kind of kept them together,” Graham said. “Everybody’s got to know their role. And enjoy your role, because if we’re a team, everybody has a place and everybody has a job. Whatever job is issued to you, that’s what you’ve got to accept until things change, because injuries happen, all kind of things happen, but how you handle yourself as a teammate is very important. That’s going to translate real well to us, especially hearing it from him.”
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are often compared to each other. Their NBA playing styles were pretty similar. Likewise, their approach and relentless drive to win were second to none.
But as similar as they looked in terms of how they played and approached the game, there was apparently a key difference between the leadership styles of the two NBA greats.