Detroit's Collins Deserved Coach of the Year Honors
Byline: Terry Boers
The last time we got into a discussion involving postseason awards, we made the case that Mo Vaughn of the Boston Red Sox was a deserving winner of the 1995 American League Most Valuable Player award.
The contention here was that Cleveland's Albert Belle didn't finish second just because he happens to be one of the surliest people on the face of the planet and the baseball writers who vote were getting even with him.
Belle, if you recall, put up much more impressive numbers than Vaughn as he became the first man in baseball history to have more than 50 homers and 50 doubles in the same season.
But Vaughn, at least it seemed here, was more valuable to his team, which surprised most everyone by winning the AL East title.
And that brings us to Phil Jackson, everybody's favorite Zen master who was named the NBA coach of the year Tuesday. His landslide win certainly has to be termed popular in these parts where the victory was described most often as "overdue" and "well-deserved."
And those were some of the least-gushy terms used.
Anyway, we'll agree with the overdue part of that.
Jackson should have been coach of the year the first year of Michael Jordan's absence when he guided the Bulls to a remarkable 55-win season, playing a brand of team basketball that was every bit as pretty to watch as Jackson himself played while he was a member of those New York Knicks teams of the early '70s.
But we quarrel with the well-deserved part.
While we'll in no way downplay the marvelous accomplishment of going 72-10, we wonder if Jackson wasn't given the award as much for that as he was for his supposed handling of the NBA's answer to RuPaul, Dennis Rodman.
But when you think about it, just how much did Jackson really handle Rodman?
Did Jackson change the way Rodman plays?
The way he acts?
The way he thinks?
The best guess here is that while Rodman is no less a time bomb than he ever was, the most positive influence he had this season came from Michael Jordan, who was really the only Bull to speak up after Rodman's disgraceful headbutt of a referee. …