Pitchin with Pritch: Michael Jordan the best player ever

Article Image Alt Text

I am still whining a little because I had tickets to the Omaha site for the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament and didn’t get to go because of the Covid-19 virus. 

It is now the end of the school year and the track and golf season for high school athletes and college athletes went away also. 

The basketball blood in me got stirred more when ESPN ran their 10-part series called “The Last Dance” about the Chicago Bulls and their run with Michael Jordan and his teammates. 

I don’t particularly like pro basketball, but I did enjoy that series. Some of the stuff I knew happened but had forgotten over the years, and some things I never knew at all. 

For example, the money that Scottie Pippen didn’t make in comparison to some other players in the league that were not nearly as productive was hard for me to grasp. 

I had forgotten that Dennis Rodman took a couple of Missing-In-Action trips but Phil Jackson was the type of coach that could smooth that over and things went on and the Bulls never missed a beat. 

I have always thought that Jordan was the best ever, and that he made other players around him better also. He was pretty close to being a bully, but these guys were adults, not grade school kids, and most of them responded pretty well. 

The other thing that stood out was the style of play then and now. It wasn’t just a little rougher then, it was assault and battery in a lot of cases. Not sure some of the players today could take the physical part of the game that was played back then. 

Anyway, it was a really good program in my opinion and I did get maybe a better idea of what kind of coach Phil Jackson was and how he handled situations which, with some coaches, would have driven them off the edge.

great college coaches

The program also got me to thinking about college coaches that think and do things very well and have been successful for the entire coaching career. 

You might think there is some bias in some of this but I just call them like I see them. 

Most of these coaches are considered the best coaches at the places they are now coaching. Some of them are going to go down as some of the best ever in the business. Let me start with one that is extremely easy for me.

Kansas: Bill Self has been at KU long enough to win 15 straight Big 12 titles, 16 NCAA appearances and there would have been one more if the season hadn’t ended like it did this year. 

The coaches that have been at KU is impressive to say the least. When you can say that the guy that invented the game was a coach at your school, that is pretty good start. 

Dr. James Naismith coached KU and ironically is the only coach in KU history that has a career losing record as the head coach at 55 and 60. Then there was Phog Allen, who is still the winningest coach at 590-219. Then throw in Ted Owens, Larry Brown and Roy Williams and the shoes were pretty big when Coach Self took over. He filled them pretty well. 

Coach’s biggest problem might be coming with the stuff from the NCAA. Hope it gets settled soon.

Oregon: Dana Altman, a Nebraska native, has had success at two schools, Creighton and Oregon. I might have a little bias here because Coach Altman and I are friends and he helped me when he was at Creighton whenever I had a question about the game. 

He has had great success at Oregon and is about to become the winningest coach for the school as he has won 259 games in the 10 years he has been the head coach.

This is just a start and I might have to keep adding a few of these in the future. 

I did find a list of active coaches with at least 600 wins and many of them would be on Larry’s List of great coaches: Bill Self, Dana Altman, Mike Krzyzewski, (how many coaches have two Z’s that are not side by side in their name?) Roy Williams, Bob Huggins, Tubby Smith, Rick Pitino. 

More to follow in the future.


The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

308-352-4311 (Phone)
308-352-4101 (Fax)

PO Box 67
327 Central Ave in Grant
Grant NE 69140