What separates professional and competitive leagues like the NBA from a game of pick-up basketball? The most obvious answer is coaching. Coaches are the brain of the game, training their players to play a certain style of basketball to win games. Finding a coach who can consistently win games is among a front office’s biggest tasks, because the better your coach is, the more games you can win.
What NBA coach has the most wins? Gregg Popovich is the NBA coach with the most regular season wins of all-time, with 1,344 regular season games won. Popovich has won games at a 65.7% win rate, placing him 6th all-time among coaches who have coached in at least 400 games. Popovich is still actively coaching the San Antonio Spurs, a job he has held since 1996 where he has delivered 5 NBA Championships.
Who are the top 10 NBA coaches with the most regular season wins?
The following table shows the 10 NBA coaches with the most regular season wins. Names in bold indicate a coach who is still active (and therefore, their record is subject to change).
|Name||Regular Season Games Coached||Regular Season Wins||Regular Season Win %|
The table shows that the closest active coach who can possibly match or beat Popovich’s record is Doc Rivers, who is still 300 wins behind; that is, if Popovich were to no longer win any more games (which is unlikely, as he is still an active coach).
Who are the top 10 NBA coaches with the most playoff wins?
The following table shows the 10 NBA coaches with the most playoff wins. Names in bold indicate a coach who is still active (and therefore, their record is subject to change).
|Name||Playoff Games Coached||Playoff Wins||Playoff Win %|
Popovich is 3rd in all-time playoff wins (and only one win away from tying for 2nd place), and the active coach with the most playoff wins: the gap between him and 4th place, also a fellow active coach in Doc Rivers, is an astounding 66 wins. It is Phil Jackson however who sits comfortably at the top, with 59 more playoff wins than Popovich himself.
What is Win Percentage an indicator of?
Win percentage simply means that from the total number of games coached, how many wins does a coach have. Win percentage is a sign of effectiveness and success. For example, two coaches have 1000 wins; while that feat is impressive, one coach did it in 1500 games, while the second one did it in 2000 games. The coach who coached less games but has the same number of wins (thus a higher win percentage) should be regarded higher than the coach who coached more games to reach the same number of wins.
Let’s take a look at which coaches have the best overall win percentage, using coaches who are in the top 10 of regular season wins as well as the top 10 of regular season wins. Next, their total games coached as well as their total games won will be used to calculate total win percentage. Names in bold indicate a coach who is still active (and therefore, their record is subject to change).
|Name||Total Games Coached||Total Wins||Total Win %|
Gregg Popovich has the 2nd best total win % of all time, despite having coached the most games. He is still quite a bit away from the coach with the best win percentage of all time, Phil Jackson.
What NBA coach has won the most championships?
What are all those wins for if you don’t have a ring to show for it, right? That isn’t always the case: 4 of the coaches in the top 10 list for most regular season wins, and 1 coach in the top 10 list for most playoff wins, have never won an NBA championship (Jerry Sloan, longtime coach of the Utah Jazz, has the misfortune in being in both top 10 lists without a ring).
But if you’re a top coach, you’ve surely won a ring, and multiple at that. The coach with the most championships is Phil Jackson, with 11 titles to his name. Red Auerbach comes in 2nd place with 9 championships, while Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, and John Kundla all have 5 championships each at 3rd place.
Is Gregg Popovich the best NBA coach of all time?
Popovich surely has a case for being the greatest NBA coach of all time. He has the most regular season wins, the 3rd most playoff wins, and the 2nd best total win percentage of all time. Most of all, he’s still an active coach! The longtime Spurs coach has won 5 NBA championships, and 3 Coach of the Year awards. While his resume is stronger than most, it still falls short in the eyes of many to Phil Jackson, who has won more titles, more playoff games, and has the best win percentage of all time.
Winning games is what every coach is hired to do. Winning games consistently and for a very long time is a mark of greatness that very few have achieved. These coaches are highly celebrated by all those inside and outside the NBA for creating a dominant legacy that has reshaped the league and the game of basketball as a whole.