The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Larry Brown is a Better NBA Coach than Phil Jackson

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2015 Category: Sports
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 555 times Debate No: 76412
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




The first round is purely for Confirmation. I believe Larry Brown is a better NBA coach than Phil Jackson. I will explain why in Rounds 2, 3, and 4. Best of luck.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I am arguing that Larry Brown is a better coach than Phil Jackson based on what he was able to accomplish with the talent that he had. First and foremost we should look at their respective resumes. Brown has one NBA Championship and won 1,098 games over his NBA career. Jackson himself won the gaudy eleven championships and 1,155 wins. However the facts must be taken with a grain of salt considering the players each coach had. Jackson won his titles with arguably three of the Top 10 Greatest Players ever in Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant, while Coach Brown, the ultimate vagabond, spent his career building teams such as the Clippers, Pacers, and in this Century the 76ers and the Charlotte Bobcats. Jackson will be cemented in history as the sport's greatest winner, but Larry Brown is Mr. Fix It in the NBA.


While it is true, Larry Brown didn't always have the best teams to lead, However, in the 2001 NBA finals, both Larry Browns and Phil Jackson's teams clashed, with the Lakers (Jacksons team) beating the 76er's (Brown' team) 4 to 1. You can't argue that he had a crappy team, because if he did, they won't have made the finals. The 76er's also finished 1st in the Eastern Conference which proves my point further.

Lets compare the starting lineups. At the time, the only all star the Lakers had was Shaq, Kobe was still developing, so he hadn't reached his potential. They also had Rick Fox, Robert Horry, and Derek Fisher. All these guys are just supporting players.

The 76ers had Allen Iverson, arguably the greatest point guard/shooting guard at the time. Dikembe Mutumbo, a legendary shot blocker, who was capable of handling Shaq. So, if you ask me, The 76ers actually had more all stars, if I compare the players. However, that didn't correlate to a NBA title, which shows that Larry Brown was able to do a better job coaching than Phil Jackson.

Debate Round No. 2


First let me say that the Lakers were not still developing. Shaquille O'Neal was entering his ninth season in the NBA in 2000-01, usually the midway point of most NBA players' careers. Although the Lakers finished 2nd in the West, behind the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers were the reigning NBA Champions, who defeated Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers in Six Games the year before. The LA Lakers were not a young developing team, but rather a powerhouse on their way to a Three-Peat. I understand Allen Iverson is one of the Greatest to ever play the game of basketball, however you must consider the players Iverson had around him. Had Iverson been injured the 76ers would not have been as good as advertized. A team with role players such as Tyrone Hill and Kevin Ollie, players who nowadays we realize were not that great. The only weapon Iverson had was Dikembe Mutombo, a man best remembered for his defense, not his offense. Iverson's Greatest asset was his coach: Larry Brown.
Also let's wind the clocks forward to June 2004, when Larry Brown led the Detroit Pistons against Phil Jackson's Lakers: Brown's Pistons were heavy underdogs and outclassed the mighty Lakers, winning in Five Games. The Pistons finished 3rd in the East and Brown led a squad of castoffs to the Promised Land. Guys like: Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and others who many felt would not make it in the NBA. Brown connected with those players and not only led them to a Title in 2004, but back to the Finals 2005, only to lose to a man he mentored, Gregg Poppovich and his San Antonio Spurs in Seven Games.


I would just like to remind Pro that since he is the instigator, the BOP is on him to prove that he is a better coach than Phil Jackson.

I think Pro may have misunderstood me. I said Kobe Bryant was still developing. Not the team. Pro also says that the 76ers weren't all that good anyways, which is why they lost. This shouldn't matter, because Pro is trying to prove that Larry Brown was a better coach. If the 76ers got past all the teams in the Eastern Conference, then why should they falter when it came to the Lakers? To go to 2004, Larry Brown certainly did a good job coaching, but the Pistons had certainly had the better lineup, compared the the Lakers, even better than me comparing the 76ers to the Lakers. Billups was better than Fisher, Tayshun Prince was better than Rick Fox, and Rasheed Wallace was alot better than the aging Karl Malone.

I would give the slight edge to Kobe and Shaq, but Shaq and Kobe were having problem in and off the court. Which correlated to their poor team play. If Larry Brown was as good as Pro says he was, he would have helped the Pacers get far in the playoffs, which they didn't. After 2004, his sucess with with the Knicks and Bobcats weren't to pretty, and his Bobcats tenture ended prematurely due to him being fired.

Jackson on the other hand, fared much better. After SHAQ left after the 2003-2004 season, the team only struggled for 2 seasons, before making the playoffs in 2006-2007, for the next 4 years the team made it to the finals.

Debate Round No. 3


As I finish my arguments I'd like to thank my opponent for this wonderful debate. I would like to start by saying Larry Brown is overall a better coach because of what I said earlier: accomplishments with the talent he had. Jackson coached three of arguably the top Ten best ever to play, Jordan and Kobe potentially top Five. Brown's best player was Allen Iverson, and their off the court battles are more likely highlight Brown's 76ers tenure than their success itself.
Con argued that Brown did not lead the Pacers deep into the Playoffs during his tenure as head coach. In the four years Brown served as head coach: he missed the playoffs only once (his final year in '96-97) and was eliminated in the First Round in the 1996 Playoffs. The other two seasons, Brown led the Pacers to the Conference Finals, losing to the New York Knicks in 1994 and the Orlando Magic in 1995.
Con also argued Brown did not have any success in Charlotte. Brown spent two full seasons in Charlotte, and although he parted ways with the team 28 games into the '10-11 season, Brown led the Bobcats to their first playoff appearance, in franchise history, 2010 with a mediocre lineup headlined by D.J Augustin, Gerald Wallace, and Boris Diaw. Brown was also amassed in a circus in his one season with the New York Knicks, battling players, especially Stephon Marbury, and having to battle with the Front Office, headed by Isiah Thomas and James Dolan. Brown would also take a struggling L.A. Clippers team to the Playoffs in both seasons he served as head coach.
As I conclude I again thank my opponent for this highly interesting debate. Throughout his career, Larry Brown has shown he can do less with more. From his recent short lived successes in Charlotte, to his two Finals runs in Detroit, to his improvement of stars such as Reggie Miller or Allen Iverson, there is no doubt Larry Brown "The Ultimate Vagabond", who did more with less, is better than Phil Jackson: a man who inherited Michael Jordan from Doug Collins and the Shaq and Kobe Lakers when he arrived in L.A, while on his way to Eleven World Championships.


I thank my opponent for this debate

So to finish of my debate, I'ill rebute Pro's arguments.

So far, Pro has based his arguments on the fact that Larry Brown didn't have better players. Even though that argument itself is very arguable (see my earlier argument), this doesn't correlate to Larry Brown being a better coach. There are many factors that could affect the teams performance. Team trainers, assiantant coaches, veteran teamleadership, team chemistry also play a factor, and Pro didn't mention these factors in his argument.

The 2004 Pistons had very good team chemsity and this also lead to them winnning the chanpionship. Since, the BOP is on Pro, It is not required of me to prove that. Howver, I'll do it just in case. Kobe Bryant has been known for not playing co-harmoniously with other players. So, I think we can team chemsitry didn't play a factor. Also, another point I would like to bring up is Kobe's playing style. Kobe has been critizied for being a ball hogger, and taking a numerous number of shots. In fact, he holds the record for the most shots missed by an NBA player. Jackson however, utilized Bryants style of play, and implemented it in a way the team could suceed far in the Playoffs. Not my teams get far in the NBA, when the team constantly depends on one player.

Con argues that Brown brought the Bobcats to the playoffs. Keep in mind, that the Eastern Conference is not as competitive as the Western Conference. If the Bobcats were in the Western Conference, they would have placed 11th. Also, the Bobcats were swept 0-4 in the first round.

Its true, Brown lead the Clippers towards the playoffs, but if you look at the record, you can see a 45-37 record isn't that impressive, but rather mediorcre.;
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago

I'm coming away from this debate with good impressions of both coaches, but there's really only one point of comparison we get throughout the debate: Brown is capable of building a good team (or even a great one) from a weak one. Since Con doesn't provide any other factors that could make Jackson the better coach (beyond win record, which both acknowledge), it's mainly a question of whether Pro is convincing. I have two mitigating factors. One, I don't get much reasoning as to why building a team up from nothing shows better coaching ability than leading a powerhouse team to victory numerous times, especially when the latter suffers from a lack of harmony. Two, I'm not getting a consistent story that Brown really was working with weaker players. Still, I get some examples that uphold this, however lightly.

It's the lack of weighing, however, that makes it difficult to pick Pro up in this debate. If bringing a team from nothing to something is paramount, I need reasoning for why it outweighs consistency and troubleshooting, which Jackson has. Both sides grant Jackson's ability in both of these latter benefits, whereas Pro isn't picking up as much as he wants when it comes to the former. If he wants me to make this paramount, I need to know why the best coach is someone who can make substantial moves with extremely little rather than the one who can move mountains with a lot. Some analysis on what a coach does, what makes a "better" coach, why Brown consistently embodies those attributes, and why Jackson does not would have gone a long way for Pro. I could see him winning this if he'd put that kind of analysis into his argument.

Without it, though, I'm left to buy the allocation of BoP, which puts the major onus on Pro, something I don't think he ever satisfies. Know your burden and how to meet it. I vote Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
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