The true reflection of Phil Jackson’s stature in the NBA coaching hierarchy isn’t that he surpassed Pat Riley for most victories as coach of the Lakers. It’s that he no longer needs to be measured against Riley, the man who provided Jackson’s first target for coaching greatness.
For historical purposes Feb. 3, 2010, marks the date Jackson won his 534th game with the Lakers, one more than Riley. In reality Jackson passed Riley long ago, once their Bull-Knicks battles were left back in the 1990s like Cross Colours and Jackson came within range of Red Auerbach’s nine championships.
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