Under Popovich, the Spurs have become one of the most consistent teams in the league. He also had the fortune of drafting Tim Duncan in his second year in charge, which turned around the Spurs’ fortunes forever. As head coach of the Spurs, Popovich has won the NBA championship five times and been named the Coach of the Year on three occasions.
Riley knew how to win, and his greatest strength was building rosters that had a diverse range of talents. That allowed him to send his teams out with specific game plans to counteract their opponents.
Riley is in the top ten for all-time victories in the NBA with 1,210, and just like Popovich, he also has five NBA championship victories. He is a Lakers legend after leading them to four NBA championships in the ’80s, while he added his fifth while leading Miami in 2006.
Phil Jackson has cemented his place in history as the coach with the highest number of NBA championship titles. He has 11 in total after leading the legendary Chicago Bulls during the ’90s, and the Lakers during the 2000s. Jackson coached the Bulls to one of the greatest ever NBA regular season, where they finished with a .878 win percentage.
Red Auerbach won nine NBA championships as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, and even scooped seven of them consecutively. The legendary coach had the unforgettable Bill Russel on his roster who was a huge part of why Auerbach’s Celtics team were so successful. Auerbach then moved upstairs to become an executive and oversaw another seven NBA championships in Boston. He was put on this earth to win basketball championships.
These coaches are the gold-standard for those who follow. They will never be forgotten for what they achieved in basketball, and once Popovich retires, they’ll all be in the Hall of Fame.