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In every sport, the players are the ones, who have all the credits of winning the game. But, there is always one person behind each team to make the plan and inspire the victory. That person is the coach, who should deserve all the appreciation as much as the players. In fact, coaches are the mastermind behind every game and he is literally the Godfather. If any team in the sports progresses to the utmost level, the coaches are the man to be treated with respect and regard. The coaches endure similar pressure during a game like the players. Over the years, many coaches have served in NBA (National Basketball Association) and led their teams to victory. They are almost big celebrities as the basketball players are.
Today, We’ll be respecting all those genius bosses in NBA history by making a list of top 10 best NBA Coaches of All-time. Hope, you’ll enjoy.
Top 10 Best NBA Coaches of All-time:
10. Don Nelson
Don Nelson is a former basketball player and a head coach in NBA. He is one of the best basketball coaches during his time from 1976 to 2010. Nelson is an innovator and the pioneer of the point forward concept in basketball. This tactic is frequently employed the the basketball teams now a days. He built a record in winning 1,333 games, which is most than any other coaches in NBA.
Don Nelson served as a head coach of different NBA teams. He coached Milwaukee Bucks from 1976-1987. After that, he coached the Golden State Warriors from 1988-1995 and again from 2006 to 2010. He also coached New York Knicks from 1995 to 1996, while in the following year, he took the coaching hand for Dallas Mavericks till 2005. For his outstanding coaching performance, Nelson was awarded “The NBA Coach of the Year” thrice in his career, notably in 1983, 1985 and 1992. He is at No. 10 in the list of top 10 best NBA coaches of all-time.
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9. Jack Ramsay
Jack Ramsay was one of the best NBA coaches in America. He was best known as “Dr. Jack” among his fans. Ramsay earned the fame for coaching the Portland Trail Blazers, who won the 1977 NBA title. He also served as a broadcaster for the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat, ESPN TV and the ESPN radio. He was among the most respected coaches in the history of NBA in United States. The No. 9 place in the list of NBA coaches has been honored by his presence.
Ramsay started his coaching career with the NBA franchise Philadelphia 76ers from 1968 to 1972. Then he moved to Buffalo Braves and coached them between 1972-1976. He also coached Portland Trail Blazers from 1976 to 1986, Indiana Pacers from 1986 to 1988. Jack Ramsay won the award of “Chuck Day Lifetime Achievement” in the 2009/10 season in NBA. His name is inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
8. Lenny Wilkens
Lenny Wilkens is a former basketball player and now one of the best NBA coaches. He was the assistant coach of the 1992 United States Olympic “Dream Team”. After retiring as a player, Lenny served as a head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics from 1969 to 1972 and again from 1977 to 1985. He served in different NBA teams at different time, such as Portland Trail Blazers from 1974 to 1976, Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 to 1993, Atlanta Hawks from 1993 to 2000, Toronto Raptors from 2000 to 2003 and lastly New York Knicks from 2004 to 2005.
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His name is inducted three times into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, first in 1989 as a player as well as a head coach in 1998. Lenny Wilkens was the most successful coach in NBA as he is holding the record of 1,332 wins in NBA, which put him at 2nd place behind Don Nelson. Lenny is also the winner of the Chuck Day Lifetime Achievement Award for his incredible coaching performance in 2010/11 NBA season. He also achieved the “United States Sports Academy’s” Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award in 1994.
7. Bill Fitch
Bill Fitch is an American former NBA coach and he is one of the best basketball coaches in the history of United States. He has been quite successful in making the NBA teams playoff contenders throughout his coaching career. He served as a head coach in NBA from 1970 to 1998. Bill Fitch is the No. 7 in our list of top 10 best NBA coaches of all-time. his glorious coaching career started with the NBA franchise Cleveland Cavaliers from 1970 to 1979. Then he coached Boston Celtics from1979 to 1983. He also coached Houston Rockets from 1983 to 1988, New Jersey Nets from 1989 to 1992, Los Angeles Clippers from 1994 to 1998.
Bill achieved the prestigious Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award for the 2012-13 NBA season. He also earned the “NBA’s Coach of the Year” award twice. Bill was there when Boston Celtics won their NBA Championship in 1981, defeating Houston Rockets. Bill Fitch is one of the greatest NBA coaches in the history of American basketball.
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6. Red Holzman
Red Holzman is best known as the head coach of the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1982. Red led the Knicks to victory in two NBA Championships, in 1970 and 1973. His name is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985. He is the No. 6 in our list of top 10 best NBA coaches of all-time.
Before joining to the Knicks, he was the head coach of St. Louis Hawks from 1954 to 1956. He holds an incredible NBA coaching record of 696 wins–604 losses with an average of .535 in his career. Red Holzman was awarded the NBA Coach of the Year in 1970. He was one of the few basketball legends, who won the NBA Championship, both as a player and as a head coach. The New York Knicks have retired the number 613, the number of his victory as their head coach, to honor this great basketball coach.
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5. Chuck Daly
Chuck Daly, one of the best NBA coaches, who had created a legacy leading the Detroit Pistons to victory in two consecutive NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. He also helped the United States Men’s Olympic Basketball Team (the Dream Team), to win the gold medal at 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
His coaching career at NBA started with Cleveland Cavaliers in 1982 season. Following that, he coached Detroit Pistons from 1983 to 1992, New Jersey Nets from 1992 to 1994, Orlando Magic from 1997 to 1999. Daly holds the coaching record of a total 564 wins with 379 losses in his career. His name was inducted twice in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The prestigious Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award is named after this great NBA coach. Chuck Daly is at No. 5 in our list of top 10 best NBA coaches of all-time.
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4. John Kundla
John Albert Kundla is No. 4 inductee in our list of top 10 best NBA coaches of all-time for his glorious coaching career. Kundla is an American former college and professional NBA coach since 1948. He served as the first head coach of the Minneapolis Lakers in NBA and he stayed there for a record 11 NBA seasons, from 1948 to 1959. Kundla led his team five League championships, four in the NBA and one in the BAA (Basketball Association of America).
He has a NBA coaching record of 423-302 with an average of 0.583 during his career as a head coach. In 1995, John Kundla was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It was sad but truth that, John Kundla never achieved the NBA coach of the Year award.
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3. Pat Riley
Pat Riley is a former basketball player and coach in NBA, who is now serving as the American professional Basketball executive. Riley has been the team president of the NBA team Miami Heat since 1995. He is regarded as one of the best NBA coaches in American history. His NBA coaching career spanned 27 years, from 1981 to 2008. Pat Riley coached los Angeles Lakers from 1981 to 1990, New York Knicks from 1991 to 1995, Miami Heat from 1995 to 2003 and again in another session from 2005 to 2008. He had an incredible coaching record of a total 798 wins in NBA, while he averaged 0.702 in his career as a head coach. Riley led the teams he coached a total 5 NBA Championship titles in 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 2006.
He has achieved the NBA Coach of the Year three times, in 1990,1993 and 1997. He is also the nine –time winner of the award of NBA All-Star game head coach. In 2012, Pat Riley achieved the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award from NBA. His name is inducted at No. 3 in our list of top 10 best NBA coaches of all-time.
2. Red Auerbach
The former American basketball coach, Red Auerbach is remembered as the pioneer of modern basketball. He redefined the basketball as a game dominated by team play and defense. Many famous basketball players were groomed by Red Auerbach, who later inductd their names in the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1950, he made a history by drafting the first African-American NBA player, Chuck Cooper. He also introduced the first African American starting five in his team later in 1964.
He served as the NBA head coach from 1946 to 1966. He started coaching the Washington Capitols in 1946 and ended there in 1949. Then he moved to Tri-cities BlackHawks and coached them from 1949 to 1950. He also coached Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1965. Red Auerbach won a total 938 games in NBA, which was a record at the time of his retirement. He also won nine NBA Championships in just 10 years. Auerbach won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 1965 and his name was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969. He was also voted one of the NBA 10 Greatest Coaches in the history America.
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1. Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson is a former basketball player and a former head coach in NBA. Currently, he is serving as the President of the New York Knicks. He is widely considered as the best coach in NBA. Phil Jackson has a very glorious coaching career and he was a true boss in basketball over many years. He is the no. 1 in our list of top 10 best NBA Coaches of all-time.
His legendary career began with the NBA franchise Chicago Bulls, where he stayed from 1989 to 1998. During that period Chicago Bulls won six NBA Championship titles. He also coached Los Angeles Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2005 to 2011. He never deprived the Lakers too, helping them to win five NBA Championships during his reign. Phil Jackson is currently the record holder of most combined championships (13) both as a player and as a head coach. For his outstanding coaching performance, Phil was awarded NBA Coach of the Year award in 1996. His name was also inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
The basketball coaches have been the real hero, creating the best basketball players over the years. The NBA teams compete each other to grab the best coaches, who would lead them to win titles. In United States, Basketball coaches are treated with similar honor and respect as the players. The coaches are the true assets for this nation, who love basketball, more than any other countries in the world.