NBA The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
30.7k votes 5k voters 52.2k views 95 items

List Rules The greatest NBA coaches in history

It's no surprise that some of the best NBA players of all time go on to become some of the best NBA coaches ever, and this list of the all-time greatest NBA coaches is testament to that fact. These men helm some of the greatest sports franchises in the sports world and are able to consistently coach the best performances from their players.

What makes somebody the greatest NBA coach ever? That's a pretty subjective question to answer. Are the top NBA coaches the ones in charge of the NBA teams with the best defense? Or the NBA teams with the best offense? Are they the ones who can reign in a team of superstar athletes and get them to play nice together? Are the best NBA coaches the coaches with the best win-loss record? Or are the greatest NBA coaches simply the coaches with the most NBA championship rings?

Who is the best NBA coach of all time? You decide! Some of the NBA's famous basketball coaches on this list have been around longer than others, but the point of this list of the all-time top NBA coaches is to determine which NBA coach had the best run whether they were in charge of a team for 2 years or 20. If you don't see your favorite NBA coach on this list of the all-time best NBA coaches, make sure to add his name so he can vie for the top spot of the best NBA coach ever.
list ordered by

1
2,710 613
Gregg Popovich is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches

2
1,871 826
Phil Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Phil Jackson age 73

3
1,125 470
Pat Riley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Pat Riley age 73

4
1,088 388
Red Auerbach is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Red Auerbach Died at 89 (1917-2006)

5
655 370
Chuck Daly is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Chuck Daly Died at 79 (1930-2009)

6
646 326
Jerry Sloan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Jerry Sloan age 76

7
555 353
Larry Brown is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Larry Brown age 78

8
676 428
Steve Kerr is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
koh-smoger added Steve Kerr age 53

9
505 351
Rick Carlisle is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Rick Carlisle age 59

10
399 385
George Karl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
George Karl age 67

11
362 291
Don Nelson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Don Nelson age 78

12
552 648
Doc Rivers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Doc Rivers age 57

13
294 201
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Lenny Wilkens age 81

14
417 232
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Bill Russell age 84

50+ Celebrities Who Have Almost Died

15
247 229
Rudy Tomjanovich is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches

16
340 325
Tom Thibodeau is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Tom Thibodeau age 60

17
315 220
Erik Spoelstra is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
angelo-parco-de-mesa added Erik Spoelstra age 48

18
196 168
K. C. Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
wiabux added K. C. Jones age 86

19
207 291
Stan Van Gundy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches

20
142 176
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches

21
207 222
Rick Adelman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Rick Adelman age 72

The Best Three-Point Shooters in NBA History

22
233 210
Jeff Van Gundy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches

23
190 175
Flip Saunders is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Flip Saunders age 63

24
159 125
Jack Ramsay is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
wiabux added Jack Ramsay Died at 89 (1925-2014)

25
159 179
Hubie Brown is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Hubie Brown age 85

26
153 70
John Wooden is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
tom-charbono added John Wooden Died at 100 (1910-2010)

27
231 125
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Larry Bird age 62

28
131 139
Red Holzman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Red Holzman Died at 78 (1920-1998)

The Worst NBA Team Owners of All Time

29
147 205
Doug Collins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Doug Collins age 67

30
281 91
Mike Krzyzewski is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
cwaldo1 added Mike Krzyzewski age 71

31
174 132
Mike D'Antoni is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
zgmoney added Mike D'Antoni age 67

32
146 23
Brad Stevens is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
TRENT13 added Brad Stevens age 42

33
109 155
Dwane Casey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
coolmiles added Dwayne Casey age 61

34
101 124
Tom Heinsohn is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
wiabux added Tom Heinsohn age 84

35
86 149
John Kundla is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
John Kundla age 102

The Best Deodorant Brands

36
94 147
Bill Fitch is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Bill Fitch age 84

37
101 173
Frank Layden is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Frank Layden age 86

38
72 21
Jerry West is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Jerry West age 80

39
112 74
Kevin McHale is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
tom-charbono added Kevin McHale age 61

40
65 118
Cotton Fitzsimmons is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Cotton Fitzsimmons Died at 73 (1931-2004)

41
57 143
Paul Westhead is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Paul Westhead age 79

42
72 102
Scott Brooks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
zgmoney added Scott Brooks age 53

Who Will Win The 2018 NBA Finals?

43
58 43
Jason Kidd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
TRENT13 added Jason Kidd age 45

44
99 77
Mike Budenholzer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
jeffwill2000 added Mike Budenholzer age 47

45
83 161
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Byron Scott age 57

46
46 80
Bill Sharman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Bill Sharman Died at 87 (1926-2013)

47
63 47
Dean Smith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
little JP Tokoto added Dean Smith age 86

48
39 60
Dick Motta is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
Dick Motta age 87

49
76 83
Tex Winter is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
victorvonvega added Tex Winter age 96

50
54 89
Mike Fratello is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Mike Fratello age 71