Shanoff's W.U.C.: The 'Phil Jackson Dynasty'

Today's Calls: Phil Jackson vs. History, Kobe vs. Shaq, Penguins vs. TV, Sidney Crosby vs. Red Wings fans, Cliff Lee vs. Chad Billingsley, Bryce Harper vs. Stephen Strasburg, BCS vs. Congress, Jrue Holiday vs. Stephen Curry, Brett Favre vs. Joe Buck and More. ↵ ↵

The Opening Pitch: In the last 20 years of NBA history, there have been six dynasties (or mini-dynasties) that have defined the "modern" (post-Magic/Bird) NBA: Bad Boy Pistons 89-90, Jordan's Bulls 91-93, Hakeem's Rockets 94-95, "MJ 2" 96-98, Shaq's Lakers 00-02, Duncan's Spurs 99-07. ↵ ↵

One dynasty trumps them all: The Zen Dynasty. ↵ ↵

With 10 championships in 19 years, the last two decades of the NBA have actually been defined by Phil Jackson, who not only set a new NBA record for career coaching championships, but also vaulted himself to the top of the list in the argument about who is the greatest NBA coach of all time. ↵ ↵

Jackson provides the ultimate lesson in management: Handling the biggest superstars, motivating great players (and their supporting cast) to something larger than individual glory, doing it all with a seemingly unflappable cool -- it's like Barack Obama borrowed his style from Jackson. ↵ ↵

Screamers. Tacticians. Control freaks. Certain coaching styles may create great short-term results, but only Jackson's empowering -- even enlightened -- mien has meant sustainable success. Now unprecedented success. ↵ ↵

As usual these days, Shaq put it best in a Tweet: ↵ ↵

"When the general doesn't panic the troops don't panic. You are the greatest now." ↵ ↵ ↵

Kobe wins title "on his own": Then again, you could say the same thing about Derek Fisher, right? And let's not discount that Pau Gasol is a 3rd-team All-NBA post player. That said, winning this title was a big moment for Kobe -- the biggest of his career. His legacy will be defined by it. ↵ ↵

Can a series won in 5 games be considered any sort of "classic?" Even if 3 of the 5 games were incredibly competitive, there is an element of drama missing when the series is over so quickly. (On the other side, the legacy of a "dominating" title for this Lakers team will only grow with time as fans forget how close Games 2 and 4 were.) ↵ ↵

Joey Buss makes his national debut: Wow, who made THAT decision? ↵ ↵

Memo to Lakers fans: Can you act like you've been there before? ↵ ↵

Looking ahead to the 2010 Finals: As long as the Lakers keep Odom and Ariza (and Phil), there is no reason they shouldn't return to the Finals -- and be the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champs. Coming from the East, it will be a renewed battle between the Magic, Cavs and Celtics. (Edge: Magic.) ↵ ↵

NHL: Penguins rule. That was the best possible outcome for the NHL -- the underdog challenger avenges a Stanley Cup final defeat by beating the defending champ on the road, led by the most marketable star in the league. It will likely turn out to be the NHL's most-watched game since that classic Rangers-Canucks Game 7 in 1994, a HUGE deal for the league. Now, how to build on that. ... ↵ ↵

(As for this Sidney Crosby-Handshake thing? Let's be clear: THIS IS NOT LIKE LEBRON. LeBron intentionally walked away from shaking any hands -- Crosby was a little late to the handshake line and missed a few handshakes. But, I mean geez, he DID get on the line.) ↵ ↵

MLB Talking Points ↵

&bull Hey, Cliff Lee from '08 makes an appearance! ↵

&bull If that was a WS preview, that's Sox over Phils. ↵

&bull Subway: Johan getting shelled | K-Rod/Bruney feud. ↵

&bull Chad Billingsley is one of the NL's Top 3 SP. ↵

&bull The June '09 Rockies are pulling a September '07 Rockies. ↵

&bull The Nats DO need a scapegoat: Manny Acta works. ↵

&bull 15 Minutes of Fantasy Fame: Ronny Paulino ↵ ↵

NBA Hot Stove: Shaq to Cavs? It makes sense on a lot of levels. LeBron needs a big man who can put his rear into Dwight Howard. Shaq will only be more dazzling in the reflective glow of the league's best player. The Cavs are in "win now -- and we mean RIGHT NOW" mode. And the Suns are rebuilding. (Now, if they are jettisoning Shaq, can we talk about sending Nash to NYC?) ↵ ↵

NBA Draft: Jrue Holiday is staying in the draft -- as he could go as high as No. 4 (and no way he falls past No. 10), that seems like the obvious choice. Someone remind me why college basketball experience is so important? Holiday had a good - not great - freshman season on a good - not great - UCLA team. And yet he has so much NBA talent that any further NCAA experience is ludicrous, both for his development and his bank account. ↵ ↵

Meanwhile, remember way back when Stephen Curry declared for the draft and I said there was no way he drops out of the Top 10? Then last week I said that there was no way he lasts past the Wizards (or their trading partner) at No. 5. Now, the Baseline is willing to name that tune in THREE spots. Well played. ↵ ↵

NFL Offseason: Kyle Orton is the Broncos starting QB. No QB controversy or haziness in Denver. Except, y'know, that Kyle Orton is supposed to be the starting QB for a team with aspirations of winning its division and making a run in the AFC. (Although Knowshon is going to have a huge rookie year, which will help Orton a lot.) ↵ ↵

Pat White Watch: Can we clarify something? Chad Henne was always going to be the future QB1 of the Dolphins. At best, Pat White was going to be their Wildcat specialist, perhaps using that formation a little more aggressively. White doesn't need to throw the ball like a full-time starting QB; he needs to throw the ball just well enough to engineer the Wildcat offense inside the opponents' 15-yard line or in short-yardage situations. ↵ ↵

BCS Mess: The Utah AG wants the Feds -- as if they don't have a few more pressing issues to deal with -- to dig into the BCS. And the president of Boise State is -- as you would imagine -- not happy with the system, either. ↵ ↵

(Psst: If there was a 4-team playoff last year, unbeaten Utah wouldn't have made the cut. And if there was a 4-team playoff three years ago, unbeaten Boise wouldn't have made the cut. And if there was an 8-team playoff, there would be an argument to be made that an unbeaten team playing a weaker schedule wouldn't deserve it over a 1- or 2-loss team from a power conference. Not saying that's right; just saying that's the reality.) ↵ ↵

CBB Recruiting: Momo Jones got out of his commitment to USC, so where should he go? Arizona? (Why? So he can sit behind all-Pac-10 PG Nic Wise?) Memphis? (Why? So he can spend his college career on severe NCAA punishment?) Florida? (Why? Ah, yes: Because he'd get starter minutes immediately.) ↵ ↵

MLB Draft 2010: Bryce Harper is the next Stephen Strasburg. And with his parents reportedly enrolling him in juco now, he should be eligible for next year's draft -- the last-place Nats could have two signature stars, but also have $50 million (or more) locked up 2 guys. ↵ ↵

(By the way, this is a bigger deal than Jeremy Tyler skipping his senior year of high school hoops to play hoops in Europe -- of course, MLB lets high school players into their amateur draft. Tyler could play a year of Euro pro ball and STILL have to sit out another year before being draft-eligible. The Harpers understand the market economy: If MLB GMs are willing to make their 16-year-old the No. 1 overall pick, why can't he be draft-eligible?) ↵ ↵

Golf: US Open week. And, yes, it's all about Tiger. ↵ ↵

Favre Watch: He will reportedly be on the new Joe Buck "comedy" show on HBO tonight. Don't expect any announcements, although it would be quite the coup for Buck if Favre did say he was coming back. And with the NBA Finals over and sports in a huge lull until the Open opens later this week, Favre could absolutely own the news cycle for the next 72 hours -- which you know he would love -- if he did. ↵ ↵

The Last Word: Adam Morrison has more NBA rings than Charles Barkley. ↵ ↵

Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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