Top 5 NBA coaches who have never won an NBA title
We rank the greatest coaches who never won the ultimate prize
As with players, Rings seem to validate coaches. Those who haven't won are sometimes disregarded despite years of consistency and some who happened to win once and failed on other occasions are regarded as elite. Like with players, the coaches on this list had to go up against some of the most dominant dynasties in NBA history and fell just short of winning the ultimate prize.
Here we rank the greatest coaches to never win a title.
#5 Cotton Fitzsimmons
Record: Regular Season: 832-775 (.518), Playoffs: 35-49 (.417)
Fitzsimmons coached in the NBA for 21 seasons, most of them with the Phoenix Suns. While he only made one playoff appearance in his first seven seasons, Fitz finally had some success in his initial years with the Kings. He led them to the Conference Finals in 1981, the first time in decades that the Kings had reached that far. They would, however, lose to the Moses Malone led Rockets. After mixed results with the Kings and the Spurs in the coming years, he'd return to the Suns in 1988, with the franchise in turmoil.
The Suns had been hit with the biggest drug scandal in the league in the 80's and were coming off a 28-win season. Murmurs regarding a relocation were banished as Fitz engineered a 27-game turnaround and the Suns won 55 games. They would lose to the Lakers in the Conference Finals. Despite beating the Lakers the following year, they'd lose to the Clyde Drexler led Blazers in the Conference Finals. In 1992, he retired to be an executive with the team. Fitz would have another brief stint as the coach but retired after coaching for 2 more seasons.
He was a 2-time Coach of the year and his teams were known for a player-friendly and crowd-pleasing style as he orchestrated some of the highest scoring teams of his time.