Phil Jackson says Kobe Bryant went beyond Michael Jordan in training

Anthony could learn more about training from Kobe. (USATSI)
Carmelo Anthony could learn more about training from Kobe Bryant. (USATSI)

Phil Jackson's new project is fixing the New York Knicks and he's committed over $120 million toward making Carmelo Anthony the focal point of that reclamation project. In the process of making them a title contender for the first time in 15 years, Jackson will be asked to make Melo some version of whatever Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant meant for their respective title-winning teams.

In a Q&A with the New York Post, Jackson was asked if Kobe is the model for Carmelo to use as the player he should become. Jackson thought that might be unreasonable because that's such a rare behavior model to be able to approach, but he did offer up this nugget of opinion that Kobe took training to a level beyond what Jordan did.

Q: Is Kobe Bryant the model for Carmelo Anthony?
A: No. No one can approach that. I don’t expect anybody to be able to model their behavior after that, although Kobe modeled his behavior a lot about Michael Jordan, but he went beyond Michael in his attitude towards training, and I know Mike would probably question me saying that, but he did.

Jordan's training once he got together with Tim Grover is pretty legendary. While his basketball skill and his will to win seemed to surpass everybody else in NBA history, his strength was what seemed to set him apart on both ends of the floor. Bryant also has worked with Grover throughout his career and it's helped him become an even more physically gifted player than what he would normally be. To see that Bryant is considered to be more serious about training than Jordan, according to their coach, is pretty astonishing.

For Melo, even reaching 75 percent of what either legend was able to focus toward training would be a huge accomplishment and a great driving force in this new contract. He'll be asked to put the Knicks back in the playoffs and get deeper than they've been since 1999. 

(H/T - SLAM)

CBS Sports Writer

Zach Harper likes basketball. Some would even say he loves it. He's also an enthusiast for everything Ricky Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Nic Cage, and has seen the movie Gigli almost three times. He's been... Full Bio

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