Hmmm I just recently saw that one and I guess I have to comment.
First: didnīt Auerbach have Bill Russel?
Second: sucess is relative. Whatīs being more sucessfull: coach a good team to 52 wins and a second round playoff out, or coach a great team to six championships in eight years?
The whole argument of Fisher goes overboard if you check the 93-94 season. Without Jordan (of whom Fish says he was the "real coach"
the bulls had a 55 win season. Now you all say that Pippen is average at best without Jordan, and Pippen had the likes of Grant, Armstrong and supersoft Rookie Kukoc to go with. So that was a good not great team, and yet Phil took them to 55 wins and a game 7 lost to NewYork in the conference semi finals (with some very questionable calls for the Knicks by the way). So in that year Phil had the same success with a good team that Fish talks about when he describes Brown or Nelson as great coaches. They didnīt win big but they did pretty well with average to good teams. (Brown was lucky the Sixers won against the Bucks and Raptors, he was clearly outcoached a couple of times in these series).
So Phil already had his test, and using Fishs standards he did great in it.
The whole argument with game one of this years finals is BS IMO, you canīt argue based on one game.
To win big as a coach you have to have great players on your team, with a good team you could pull out a surprise year but you couldnīt build a dynasty. Look what Riley does since he has left LA. Heīs still considered a great coach by many, but didnīt win anything despite having Ewing or Mourning.
So I think itīs kind of symbiotic. A great team wouldnīt win with a bad coach, and even the greatest coach couldnīt win it all with an average team.
To me Phil is a great coach, cause heīs very good at what a dinasty needs to develope. Teams with really great players (Jordan, Shaq) need coaches that can deal with their egos, deal with the pressure from inside and outside the organisation year after year. Those teams need a coach whoīs able to step back take a supporting roll at times, they donīt need the Dean Smith or Larry Brown types who must be in charge all the time.
Phil has that all. He was able to deal with completely different characters such as Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc and now with antitodes Kobe and Shaq.
I know these are kind of "soft" facts dealing with mental things mostly, and you in the US like the "hard" facts better. But IMO these are the things that are most important for the success of a team and not so much how you draw your Xīs and Oīs.
So IMO, had Phil coached the Blazers last year (which really had the potential to be a great team) instaed of Dunleavy, the Blazers would be the defending champs this year, and thatīs the best you can say about any coach.
Itīs just way more difficult to win it all with a great team 7 times than to win 53 games with a good team from time to time.
Phil is great, heīs just not your average type of guy, thatīs why a lot of people do not like him IMO.