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5-time coaching champ left off NBA's Greatest 15 Coaches Ever list


Coaches are like referees. If they're good, woopie - they're supposed to be. But if they're bad, or even if the team is just not up to par for what can be a gazillion reasons, it's part of the job to expect the heat. So a panel of 43 current and past head coaches, along with contributions from the National Basketball Coaches Association, have chosen to honor the great coaches of the last 75 years with an assembled and definitive list. Again, they made it, so don't get mad at us.

15 Greatest Coaches in NBA History


  • Red Auerbach: Celtics, 823-426, 65.9%, 9, 1-time
  • Larry Brown: 76ers, 1098-904, 54.8%, 1, 1-time
  • Chuck Daly: Pistons, 638-437, 59.3%, 2, None
  • Red Holzman: Knicks, 696-603, 53.6%, 2, 1-time
  • Phil Jackson: Lakers/Bulls, 1155-485, 70.4%, 11, 1-time
  • K.C. Jones: Celtics, 522-252, 67.4%, 2, None
  • Steve Kerr*: Warriors, 417-184, 69.4%, 3, 1-time
  • Don Nelson: Warriors/Bucks, 1335-1063, 55.7%, 0, 3-time
  • Gregg Popovich*: Spurs, 1330-687, 65.9%, 5, 3-time
  • Jack Ramsay: Blazers, 864-783, 52.5%, 1, None
  • Pat Riley Heat: 1210-694, 63.6%, 5, 3-time
  • Doc Rivers*: Celtics, 1024-725, 58.5%, 1, 1-time
  • Jerry Sloan: Jazz, 1221-803, 60.3%, 0, None
  • Erik Spoelstra*: Heat, 642-444, 59.1%, 2, None
  • Lenny Wilkens: Sonics, 1332-1155, 53.6%, 1, 1-time


John Kundla: Lakers, 423-302, 63.2%, 5, None. 

You clicked this to remind yourself/ learn of the legendary John Kundla. The 5-time champion who took over the Minneapolis Lakers at only 31 while living to grow as old as 101. He won 5 titles in a six-year stretch with George Mikan as his number one guy. Kundla was elected into the Hall Of Fame as a coach while mentoring another six Hall Of Fame players in his short 11 seasons. What has Doc Rivers done to surpass that? 

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He might not have a ring to show for it, but next to Stephen Curry, Mike D'Antoni completely changed the game. The abandonment of centers and five court shooters was Mike. If it wasn’t for the dreadful luck of Steve Nash, going up against the most stacked team in history and a Chris Paul injury, Mike would go down as a top five-er. Easy.


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