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Michael Jordan: Phil Jackson 'was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith'

Michael Jordan: Phil Jackson 'was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith'
Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan won six titles together in Chicago. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Michael Jordan is one of the all-time great basketball players -- and he also was lucky enough to play for two of the all-time great coaches, Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina and Phil Jackson with the Chicago Bulls.

During a Q&A session with kids attending his Flight School basketball camp in Santa Barbara over the weekend, Jordan was asked which of those two men he'd pick to coach him in one game only.

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He didn't hesitate in giving his answer.

"Dean Smith," Jordan said. "Fortunately Dean Smith helped me become the basketball player I am today. Phil was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith."

Jordan won a national championship under Smith in 1982 and went on to claim six NBA titles under Jackson.

Jordan also told the kids that there's "no question" he'd beat LeBron James in one-on-one if both men were in their prime, and that Larry Bird probably was the biggest trash talker he'd ever played.

He had high praise for Lakers star Kobe Bryant ... well, mostly high praise.

"He's one of the great players of the game," Jordan said of Bryant. "I think he's done a lot for the game and he has a true love for the game of basketball.

"I have absolutely the highest regard for Kobe Bryant, even though he stole all my moves. But that's OK, I still love him like a brother."

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