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Gregg Popovich passes Phil Jackson on all-time wins list

Yash Matange
368   //    06 Nov 2017, 09:55 IST

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers
Gregg Popovich

What's the story?

San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich passes Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA Champion (as a coach) Phil Jackson on the all-time wins list for coaches.

In case you didn't know

Popovich has been the head coach of the Spurs since Dec. 10, 1996. Since then in his tenure, the team has captured six Conference titles and five NBA Championships. Meanwhile, Jackson had recorded his 1155 wins over the course of his 21-year coaching career, where he was the head coach of only two teams - the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Heart of the matter

Popovich, who holds the record for the most consecutive seasons tenured among current head coaches in all of the American pro sports, recorded his 1,156th win when his Spurs defeated the visiting Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

Also read: Top 5 NBA coaches of all time

Popovich reached the mark in 1665 games with a win percentage of 69.4%. Among all the coaches ahead of him on the list, he has the highest winning percentage. Another great fact about his achievement is that nobody ahead of him on this list did it with one team, while Pop has been racking up all these wins with the Spurs since 1996.

What next?

Up next for Popovich on the list is George Karl, who has 1,175 wins to his name. That's another 20 more wins, which no doubt Pop will register this season itself, maybe even before the end of this year.

Author's take

Popovich is arguably the greatest coach in NBA history. No head coach has been as successful as he has with the talent at his disposal. Although many could make the argument that Jackson was greater, the Zen Master always had greats of the game like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on his team.

Whereas Pop has been able to win games and be competitive even when his cornerstones - Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili - are either retired or playing in limited minutes.

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Yash Matange
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