10 Best Coaches In NBA History
Who are the 10 best coaches in NBA history? The head coach of a basketball team is arguably the most important person to the club. He is the glue that holds everything together. He is charged with the duty of keeping and managing twelve different personalities, transforming them into one cohesive unit. Without a good coach, a team could have all the talent in the world and still end up a loser. These ten are the best coaches to ever lead their teams to victory in the NBA.
- John Kundla. If winning NBA Championships is the ultimate goal, this guy was one of the best coaches in the NBA to do it. His Milwaukee Bucks teams won five championships in a six year period between 1948 and 1954. During the 1949/50 season, his team was virtually unbeatable at home only losing one game out of 31 contests.
- Gregg Popovich. So far, during his 13 year career with the San Antonio Spurs, he has amassed the third best winning percentage (.675) in the history of the game. We all know winning regular seasons games just isn't enough. "Popp" has also helped to produce four NBA championships with the Spurs.
- Chuck Daly. He was the mastermind behind the infamous Detroit "Bad Boys." Why is he one of the best coaches in NBA history? Simple. He took a group of decent ball players (with the exception of Super Stars Isaiah Thomas, and Joe Dumars) and taught them to bully their way to two NBA championships during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Not to mention his teams produced winning records eleven out of thirteen seasons.
- Don Nelson. This guy has a knack for turning losing teams around by introducing his brand of fast-paced uptempo offense. The proof is in the pudding. He's taken historically weak franchises, such as the Mavericks or the Warriors, and made them legitimate playoff contenders. As of the 2010 season, he is the second winningest coach in NBA history behind the legendary Lenny Wilkens (www.nba.com/coachfile/don_nelson).
- Jerry Sloan. He was a warrior when he played for the Bulls and he's lost none of his fighting spirit as the head coach of the Utah Jazz. He comes from an era when people stuck with their teams. Never being tempted into jumping ship, Sloan has been the head coach for Utah since 1988 and has become one of the winningest coaches ever.
- Larry Brown. He is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest teachers the sport has ever known (www.nba.com/coachfile/larry_brown/). Like Don Nelson, Brown has figured out how to take the talent he has on a squad and produce great results. The greatest example of this was in 2004 when he led the previously floundering Pistons to an NBA title. He also helped a rather talentless 76er's team (other than Iverson of course) to the 2001 NBA Finals.
- Lenny Wilkens. He is one of the best coaches of all time, simply because no other coach has won more games than him. He's got 1332 wins under his belt and an NBA title in 1979 with the Seattle Supersonics.
- Pat Riley is easily one of the top ten coaches in NBA history. He led the "Showtime" Lakers squads to NBA titles in 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. He's also one of the winningest coaches with 1210 Ws.
- Red Auerbach was the coach other coaches wanted to be. He was the Celtics head coach for 20 seasons bringing Boston nine championships. His emphasis on the team aspect of basketball was incredible. He was able to convince some of the greatest individual superstars of his day to play unselfish team ball, and that's what makes him one of the greatest coaches in NBA history.
- Phil Jackson. The Zen Master himself. He's won six championships with the Chicago Bulls and another four with the LA Lakers so far. He's been a master at keeping his superstars' egos in check in order to produce more championships than any other coach. He's set more records than can be mentioned. Without him, Michael Jordan or even Kobe Bryant wouldn't have succeeded so much in the post season.