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Top 5 NBA coaches of all time

Gautam Varier
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
21.76K   //    Timeless

Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich

Since the inaugural season in 1946-47 many great coaches have graced the NBA with their expertise in its 71-year history. They have revolutionized the league over the years be it with various tactical innovations or finding the best ways to maximize their chances of winning by exploiting the rule changes before anyone else could.

There are however four coaches who stand well clear of the rest of the pack. The debate often circles around the order in which they should be placed and it's a never-ending one. In this article, I try to place them based on their accolades and the circumstances under which they achieved them.

Honorable Mentions


John Kundla


Kundla was the coach of perhaps the NBA's first dynasty. He led the Minneapolis Lakers to five championships in six seasons between 1949-1954. The Lakers managed to snap up George Mikan in 1949 and he was one of the driving forces behind their 5 titles. After 1954 however, Kundla wasn't able to lead the Lakers to a winning record in his last five seasons.


Chuck Daly


Chuck Daly (Image courtesy: theonion.com)
Chuck Daly (Image courtesy: theonion.com)

Daly led the Detroit Pistons to back to back titles in 1989 and 1990. Daly's Pistons got somewhat sandwiched between the dominant Celtics of the 80's and the up and coming Bulls who would win 6 titles in the 90's. Daly famously implemented the Jordan rules against the Bulls in an attempt to stop Jordan, which involved being excessively physical at times to limit his influence. While the Pistons managed to hold off Jordan and win back to back titles, they would get swept the following year. Daly never managed to get past the 1st round of the Playoffs for the rest of his career.

Another huge part of his legacy is being the head coach of the famed 1992 Olympic Dream Team.

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Gautam Varier
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