Gregg Popovich, Don Nelson and the Winningest Head Coaches in NBA History

The NBA Head Coach With The Most Wins Of All, Don Nelson, Here Winning No. 1,000

The NBA Head Coach With The Most Wins Of All, Don Nelson – Here Winning No. 1,000

Oooh. Not yet. Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs‘ five-time champion head coach, missed his 1,000th win tonight in a road loss to the Atlantic-leading Toronto Raptors.

Sure enough, though, Popovich will become the ninth head coach in NBA history to record a big 1K in the win column.

What’s more remarkable – he did it all with one team and coached no other, by far the only coach on this list to pull off such a stunt (minus, perhaps, Jerry Sloan, the all-time single-team leader, Red Auerbach and Red Holzman).

These are the 20 winningest NBA coaches ever, led barely by Don Nelson with just three more victories than Lenny Wilkens. Hey, come out of retirement, man!

Not in retirement? That would be Doc Rivers and Flip Saunders, joining Popovich, but still in just the 600’s with a ways to go.

UPDATED LIST: Through Feb. 9, 2015 and Pop’s 1,000th win.

HEAD COACH TOTAL WINS TEAM WINS
1. Don Nelson 1,335 Milwaukee Bucks 540
Golden State Warriors 422
New York Knicks 34
Dallas Mavericks 339
2. Lenny Wilkens 1,332 Seattle SuperSonics 478
Portland Trail Blazers 75
Cleveland Cavaliers 316
Atlanta Hawks 310
Toronto Raptors 113
New York Knicks 40
3. Jerry Sloan 1,221 Chicago Bulls 94
Utah Jazz 1,127
4. Pat Riley 1,210 Los Angeles Lakers 533
New York Knicks 223
Miami Heat 454
5. Phil Jackson 1,155 Chicago Bulls 545
Los Angeles Lakers 610
6. George Karl 1,131 Cleveland Cavaliers 61
Golden State Warriors 58
Seattle SuperSonics 384
Milwaukee Bucks 205
Denver Nuggets 423
7. Larry Brown 1,098 Denver Nuggets 126
New Jersey Nets 91
San Antonio Spurs 153
Los Angeles Clippers 64
Indiana Pacers 190
Philadelphia 76ers 255
Detroit Pistons 108
New York Knicks 23
Charlotte Bobcats 88
8. Rick Adelman 1,042 Portland Trail Blazers 291
Golden State Warriors 66
Sacramento Kings 395
Houston Rockets 193
Minnesota Timberwolves 97
9. Gregg Popovich* 1,000 San Antonio Spurs 1,000
10. Bill Fitch 944 Cleveland Cavaliers 304
Boston Celtics 242
Houston Rockets 216
New Jersey Nets 83
Los Angeles Clippers 99
11. Red Auerbach 938 Washington Capitols 115
Tri-Cities Blackhawks 28
Boston Celtics 795
12. Dick Motta 935 Chicago Bulls 356
Washington Bullets 185
Dallas Mavericks 329
Sacramento Kings 48
Denver Nuggets 17
13. Jack Ramsay 864 Philadelphia 76ers 174
Buffalo Braves 158
Portland Trail Blazers 453
Indiana Pacers 79
14. Cotton Fitzsimmons 832 Phoenix Suns 341
Atlanta Hawks 140
Buffalo Braves 27
Kansas City Kings 248
San Antonio Spurs 76
15. Gene Shue 784 Baltimore/Washington Bullets 522
Philadelphia 76ers 157
San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers 105
16. John MacLeod 707 Phoenix Suns 579
Dallas Mavericks 96
New York Knicks 32
17. Red Holzman 696 Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks 83
New York Knicks 613
18. Doc Rivers* 677 Orlando Magic 171
Boston Celtics 416
Los Angeles Clippers 90
19. Mike Fratello 667 Atlanta Hawks 324
Cleveland Cavaliers 248
Memphis Grizzlies 95
20. Flip Saunders* 648 Minnesota Timberwolves 421
Detroit Pistons 176
Washington Wizards 51

Photo: Robert Galbraith, Reuters via thescore.com

Posted on February 8, 2015, in NBA Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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