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Vera Sanchez
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Great Players Need Great Coaches

1 January 2013

By Vera Sanchez

Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant. Who is the better basketball player? This is a question that has been debated by many experts, players, fans, and sports lovers alike. The opinioned answer can be argued based on statistics such as previous basketball experience prior to the NBA, impact as a rookie, MVP titles, defensive stopper, average points per game, and NBA Championships.

Michael Jordan facts: played college at North Carolina, won the rookie of the year honors in 1985, five MVP titles, named nine times to the All-Defensive First Team, averaged 30 points per game during his career, and accomplished six NBA Championship.

Kobe Bryant facts: drafted out of Lower Merion High School, All-Rookie Second Team in 1996, one MVP title, named nine times to the All-Defensive First Team, averages 25 points per game thus far, and accomplished five NBA Championships.

The answer to the question, who is the better basketball player, can go in circles and be argued until the cows come home. However, when taking a more in depth look at the situation, both players were instructed by one of the greatest coaches to embrace the game of basketball, Phil Jackson. The real question is would Jordan and Bryant sustain such impressive results without the guidance of Jackson?

The “Zen Master,” himself, has an impressive resume. While coaching Jordan, Jackson secured six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. When coaching Bryant, Jackson captured five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, bringing his grand total to eleven NBA Championships as head coach. He produced incredible results in his players through an aggressive defense and spectacular triangle offense. In addition, Jackson has had a winning record every year as a head coach and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach.

When Jordan decided to come out of retirement, he played for the Washington Wizards and was their leading scorer on his team, but was not able to win an NBA Championship. Presently, Bryant is the leading scorer on the Lakers, but he too is struggling to win.

Fact: Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant never won an NBA Championship without Phil Jackson. Every good player, no matter their individual stats or skill level, needs to be guided by a good coach. It naturally goes hand in hand when producing a winning season or championship team.

Every promising craps player should be led by a quality craps coach. I have been coached and mentored by the finest dice controllers in the game: Timmer, Dice Pilot, Alligator Rose, Dr. Crapology, the Goddess, Mr. Finesse, Ace, the Five Horseman, and the list goes on. They not only increase the skills of their students, but they pass on their knowledge of the game based on their experiences. They are teachers who know more about the skills acquired in craps and offer advice as students go through the learning and discipline process of dice control. They are the Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Red Auerbach, and Gregg Popovich of gaming.

If you are looking to beat the casinos then you too will need a good coach. No one does it alone.
Vera Sanchez
Vera Sanchez is a member of Golden Touch Craps and belongs to a distinctive group in the largely male world of craps – a female dice controller and advantage player. She was born and raised in San Diego. She graduated from San Diego State University with her bachelor’s degree in English and later with a master’s degree in Education. She is currently a high school English and Literature teacher in the San Diego area as well as a basketball coach.