NBA.com writer Vince Thomas took some time to deliberate the “Team of the Decade” as the 2000-2009 span comes to a close.
And what do you know, it’s the Lake Show! (not rhymed on purpose, I swear)
In his analysis, Vince correctly notes that the Lakers owned San Antonio during the decade when it comes to playoff games (Lakers were 20-6 against the Spurs in the 2000s). The Lakers also took the advantage when it came to “Marquee Players,” “Fascination Factor,” and “Best Team” (Vince says the 2001 Laker team with Kobe and Shaq was the team of the decade and I can’t say I disagree).
The Spurs were rated higher in both consistency and ambassadorship; not a surprise for a team that missed the playoffs once and had it’s two biggest stars of the decade involved in legal troubles and a highly-publicized feud. The Spurs have been consistently good and have kept their noses clean- I’ll give them that.
The most interesting category to me was the coaches ranking, where Vince gave Greg Popvich and Phil Jackson equal marks.
…the fact that the Lakers reached back-to-back Finals (…) is remarkable in many ways. Is it enough to give Phil a slight edge? Yes. Plus, Phil won four rings, Pop has three. But not so fast. Phil left L.A. in a huff for a season and wrote a damning book (…) while he was out. Pop hasn’t gone anywhere since taking over the Spurs in 1996.
And with that, the coaching measure is deemed a tie. I call shenanigans, but Pop isn’t all that bad and I think Phil’s body of work speaks for itself.