7 Best NBA Coaches Of All Time

Best NBA Coaches Of All Time

The key takeaway from the article is that successful NBA coaches play a crucial role in guiding their teams to victory through strategic plays, player development, and discipline. Coaches like Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, and Red Auerbach have been recognized for their exceptional coaching skills, leading their teams to multiple championship titles based on criteria such as total wins and win percentage.

In basketball, players are the ones who are fighting inside the basketball court for the win. Teammates need to have good chemistry for them to win because, without the right chemistry, the team will fall. It is indeed that having a good set of basketball players is essential on one team. However, there is another man on the bench which is we called “the brain of the team”

Basketball coaches play a huge role in a basketball team. They are the one who makes plays, discipline each player if needed, and they help players to be a better basketball player. Coaches are like mothers. Mothers are the light of the home while coaches are the light of a basketball team. 

Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best NBA coaches that led their team to victory. These coaches deserve to be included in my list because they show how competitive they are and how well they guided their players. 

My Criteria For Selection

Below are different criteria for selecting the coaches to be included in the list:

  • Total Wins: We will count how many wins they have made
  • Win Percentage: The win percentage of each coach 
  • Total Championships: We will also count the championship titles made by each coach.

1. Phil Jackson

  • Total Wins: 1,155
  • Win Percentage: 70.4%
  • Total Championships: 11

Phil Jackson is indeed the greatest coach of all-time in the history of the NBA. He helped multiple teams to win championships. Phil Jackson became more well known when he coached the Chicago Bulls. He helped Jordan and the Bulls for a championship run in the 90s. 

After a successful career at the Chicago Bulls, he then coached Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Phil Jackson won five championship titles with the Lakers, and he is the reason why some bad players in the Lakers that time improved. 

Phil Jackson’s best strategy was the triangle offense, and because of that strategy, he ruined almost all of the NBA teams. During his time as a coach for the Lakers and Bulls, Phil Jackson had a total win of 1,155, an incredible percentage, and a total of eleven championship titles.

2. Greg Popovich

  • Total Wins: 1,245
  • Win Percentage: 68.4%
  • Total Championships: 5

Greg Popovich is the San Antonio Spurs coach since the mid-1990s and until now. He is one of the most respected coaches in today’s NBA era. Greg Popovich has become a great coach because he can take a spot in the playoffs no matter what lineup he has, and he has different kinds of plays that can outplay the opposing NBA teams. 

Greg Popovich has a total of five championship titles and will more likely increase because he is still in a good shape, and his coaching career is still ongoing. He deserved to be on the list because of some noticeable achievements he made. Popovich developed some bad players into a great one. He makes sure that his players are disciplined and play at their maximum level. 

3. Red Auerbach

  • Total Wins: 938
  • Win Percentage: 66.2%
  • Total Championships: 9

Red Auerbach is one of the reasons why the Boston Celtics had many championship rings. He helped the franchise to get these tons of championship rings. After his coaching career at Boston, he decided to work in the front office as an executive. 

Red Auerbach changed the game of basketball with his basketball tactics. His fast-break offense, team-plays, and defense tactics contributed to the Boston Celtic’s wins. Winning nine championship titles is the most memorable thing that happened to Red’s career. Because of his impressive coaching talent, the Boston Celtics dominated the league last 50s. 

As I have said above, Red became a front office executive for the Boston Celtics. Even though he didn’t coach the Celtics in the 70s and 80s, the Boston Celtics still managed to grab seven more championship titles. Red seems to be the luck of the Boston Celtics.

4. Pat Riley

  • Total Wins: 1,210
  • Win Percentage: 63.6%
  • Total Championships: 5

Pat Riley deserves to be on the list because he helped two teams to win a championship title. In the 1980s, they became the great contender for the Boston Celtics, and it is because of the help of Pat Riley. 

Riley helped the Lakers to grab four championship rings, and it was a long time before he got another championship title again. In 2006 he helped the Miami Heat to grab one title. Pat Riley helped the Heat, and he taught Dwayne Wade some veteran moves to improve his game. That is why Dwayne Wade became unstoppable during his prime years. 

Pat Riley has different techniques that he applied on the Lakers and the Heat. He has a different winning formula that made him different from other coaches. 

5. Chuck Daly

  • Total Wins: 638
  • Win Percentage: 59.3%
  • Total Championships: 2

Chuck Daly became an effective coach for the “bad boys” Detroit Pistons. He gave the Detroit Pistons two consecutive championship titles. Chuck Daly was very strict that made his team became more unstoppable

Chuck Daly helped Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars to improve. He made them an unstoppable duo with his training techniques. Chuck Daly believes that defense is a great offense, that is why he is more focused on improving the team’s defense. The defense tactic he made became effective that helped the Pistons to win two championship titles.

6. Lenny Wilkens

  • Total Wins: 1,332
  • Win Percentage: 53.6%
  • Total Championships: 1

Lenny Wilkens coached many NBA teams where he tries to help them to grab a title. Before becoming a full-time NBA coach, Wilkens first became a playing-coach for the Portland Trailblazers. After he retired from playing, he became a full-time coach and spend the first year of his coaching career with the Trail Blazers

After showing his coaching skills in Portland, he coached his former team, the Seattle Supersonics. He won his first NBA championship as a coach and also the first title of Supersonics. Wilkens didn’t have enough success to win NBA championships because his team is always eliminated in the playoffs too early. However, he deserves to be in the spot because of his winning percentage. 

7. Don Nelson

  • Total Wins: 1,335
  • Win Percentage: 55.7%
  • Total Championships: 0

During Don Nelson’s playing career, he was a five-time NBA champion and was known as one of the best sixth-man in NBA history. Few months after he retired from playing, Nelson decided to become an NBA coach. Nelson coached multiple teams in his whole coaching career in the NBA. 

Don Nelson first coached the Milwaukee Bucks where he first created a system called “Nellie Ball”. This system created many mismatches and helped the Bucks to win seven straight Central Division championships. Nelson is also known for his up-tempo offense and “hack-a-Shaq” defense. He won the NBA Coach of the Year three times on different occasions

Even though he had contributed many coaching techniques in the NBA, he failed to win a championship as a coach. However, he still deserved to be on the list because of his impressive tactics and win percentage.

Final Verdict

Coaches have an essential role in one basketball team. Without a coach, the basketball team would turn out into a mess. They are the mind of the team and the disciplinarian of the basketball players. 

These coaches deserved to be in the top seven coaches of all time list because of their impressive winning percentage and winning total. 

Which NBA coach do you like to be in the seven spots? Who are your seven best coaches of all time in the NBA? Comment your answers below!

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