The NBA has had some great coaching and often times we just care about the players on the team. However many players (NBA or any level) have a coach that they look up to. Today we will discuss three of the greatest coaches ever.
This list will have Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, and Red Auerbach. We discuss what made them great and inspirational. All three are (were) great coaches and deserve to be in the NBA hall of fame (which they all have or will be in).
Great coaching has a lot of aspects, but the biggest factor in an NBA coaching discussion is did they win? Next, we can look at what they did to improve the game of basketball. Plus, we can look at players they impacted and coach throughout their careers.
Phil Jackson is definitely a household name and for good reason. He won 11 championships and was part of some of the greatest teams ever. He also coached greats like Micheal Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, and Shaq.
He did a lot of winning, he has a career record of 1155 wins (213 playoff wins) and 485 losses (97 playoff losses). He made the playoffs every year he coached and won 11 rings (went to 14). 6 with Jordon and the Bulls and 5 with the Lakers.
His worst record was in 2009-07 when he led the Lakers to 42-40, even his worst year was just mediocre. The majority of seasons were 50 or more wins and becomes clear why he is one of the most respected coaches in history.
He also created a small thing called the triangle offense, which is used by many teams in every level of basketball. He only has one coach of the year, but his winning and the triangle offense makes him an all-time great.
Gregg Popovich is mostly known for having some of the best defensive teams in the history of the sport. His whole career is with has been with the Spurs, and has coached the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leanord, and David Robertson. He was the biggest thorn to the Phil Jackson-led Lakers, beating them multiple times in the playoffs.
He has also beaten Lebron twice in the finals and has more wins than Phil Jackson (Phil has a better winning percentage). He has won five championships and has even made more championships. He has won NBA coach of the year 3 times.
He has fallen off since Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leanorned left his team. He still has only had 3 losing seasons. The last two seasons were more mediocre, but his first year as a head coach was terrible (17-47).
Gregg might not be as good but still has more talent as a coach than most NBA teams. He still is coaching, and could possibly rebuild the Spurs again. However, it does seem Gregg is about to enter retirement.
Red is most remembered as the great Boston Celtics coach during the 1960’s dynasty. He also coached the Washington Capitals (during the ’40s) and Tri-Cities Blackhawks. Having success with all those teams.
He didn’t win his first championship until he joined the Celtics. During his tenor with the Celtics, he coached Bill Russell, KC Jones, Sam Jones, and Bob Cousey. He led a highly initiative system based on his big man.
He did not win over one thousand games but played in a league that did not play 82 games per season. He never had a losing season, his worst being a season when he coached the Celtics to a 36-36 record. He made the playoffs every year and help create one of the best dynasties ever.
He won 9 championships has a head coach and 16 counting him as a GM for the Celtics. He also won 8 in a row has a head coach. He would have won more if he didn’t retire after his 9th champion.