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Top 10 Greatest NBA Coaches of all Time

Check out the list of top 10 greatest NBA coaches of all time and their achievements. Coaches are the ones who are playing the game through their players.

Last updated: 26.01.2022
Greatest NBA Coaches of all Time

The National Basketball Association, commonly known as NBA, has already made a successful impression on viewers' minds but these past few decades have been the most glorious period for this league. Every passing year is witnessing different and fantastic energy in players, viewers, and in a human who's putting his brain and constant efforts along with players. The cheers the players, regulate the game but from behind the line. Who are they?

They are the coaches.

Coaches are the ones who are playing the game through their players. A coach's capacity to shape and reflect a team's end performance and output is shaped and reflected by his or her quality, sense of direction, experience, and game mathematical abilities. So in one word we can say that coaches are the backbone of a team.

So in this article, we are going to cover the achievements of the top 10 greatest NBA coaches of all time.

1. Phil Jackson 

Phil is a gift given to the NBA as a player and most importantly as the greatest. He is the most successful coach of all time in the history of basketball after surpassing the record of Red Auerbach. Jackson led the Bulls to six NBA championships between 1989 to 1998 as their head coach. After that, he was the head coach of Los Angeles Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and again between 2005 to 2011 and led them also to win five league titles. He also owns the NBA record for most combined titles won 6as a player and coach, with a total of 13. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

2. Red Auerbach

Auerbach arguably was one of the most successful coaches of his era by winning nine championships and 938 wins as a coach. He coached the Boston Celtics, Washington Capitals. He also served as a president and front office executive of the Boston Celtics and won additional seven NBA titles which gave him a total of 16 and made him one of the greatest coaches of all time.

3. Gregg Popovich 

Gredd is the head coach of San Antonio Spurs and has also coached U.S. National team. He is also the president of San Antonio Spurs. The title of the longest-tenured active coach in both the NBA and all the major sports leagues in the U.S. goes to Popovich. On April 13, 2019, Popovich passed Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson for the most wins in NBA history (regular season and playoffs). In his first 22 full seasons as head coach, he led the Spurs to a winning record, surpassing Phil Jackson for the most consecutive winning seasons in NBA history. The Spurs have won games against every other NBA team during his tenure. Popovich has led the Spurs to five NBA championships, making him one of only five coaches in NBA history to do so. He guided Team USA to a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in 2021.

4. Pat Riley

Riley's journey with the NBA is very remarkable as a player and as a coach. He's currently acting as a team president for Miami Heat and also coached the same from 1995 to 2003 and again in between 2005 to 2008. He also has won five NBA championships in which four were with the Lakers and one with the Heat.

5. Lenny Wilkens

Leonard Wilkens coached Seattle Supersonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks. He won the NBA championship in 1979 with Seattle SuperSonics. He also won the coach of the year award in 1994.

6. Larry Brown

Larry is a phenomenal former NBA player who's presently the assistant coach of the Memphis Tigers. In the history of basketball, Larry Brown is the only coach who won the NCAA national championship and NBA championship in 1988 with the Kansas Jayhawks and in 2004 with Detroit Pistons respectively and also the only coach to train eight different teams to the playoffs.

7. Chuck Daly

Charles Jerome Daly won two NBA championships in 1989 and 1990 with the Detroit Pistons. He also led the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team (The Dream Team) to the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The famous Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award which is given to a fantastic coach is named after him.

8. John Kundla

From 1947 through 1959, he served as the inaugural head coach of the Minneapolis Lakers. Six league championships were won by his teams: one in the NBL, one in the BAA, and four in the NBA. Kundla coached basketball at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul for one season in 1946–47 and 10 seasons at the University of Minnesota from 1959 to 1968. In 1995, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 2006, he was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

9. Red Holzman

William Holzman coached the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1982 and was known best for this and helped this team to win the NBA championship twice in the years 1970 and 1973.

10. Don Nelson

Donald Arvid Nelson coached the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Golden State Warriors. He also won NBA coach of the year three times i.e in 1983, 1985, and 1992.

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