5 Well-Known Basketball Coaches
- Bob Knight
- Phil Jackson
- Michael Krzyzewski
- Gregg Popovich
- Doc Rivers
Given the levels of popularity that basketball carries in the United States, it comes as no surprise that some of the legendary basketball coaches are celebrated almost everywhere. To cherrypick the top ones, however, one must analyze the sport for dozens of individuals who accomplished incredible feats.
1. Bob Knight
Although Bob Knight is known for a long list of notable actions and achievements, his best years were spent as a coach of Indiana Hoosiers. While there, he won three NCAA championships during his 29-year-long career. Additionally, he went to five Final Four tournaments and received the Henry Iba Award twice. During his career at Indiana, his skills as one of the best basketball coaches were recognized around the nation. Consequently, he was invited to coach the U.S. Men’s Olympic team in 1984. Ultimately, he finished his career by spending seven years at Texas Tech and remains known for his notorious chair-throwing incident in 1985.
2. Phil Jackson
Being the head coach of a team where Michael Jordan played for years is an accomplishment in itself. Having 11 championship rings, on the other hand, takes Phil Jackson to the elite level and certifies him as one of the most refined basketball professionals ever. He also won two NBA titles as a player in 1970 and 1973 which took place two decades before he won his titles with the Chicago Bulls. Additionally, he won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 1996 and went on to retire in 2011 as the Los Angeles Lakers coach.
3. Michael Krzyzewski
In the history of the NCAA, there has never been a coach with more victories than Michael Krzyzewski. His current record of 1,132 wins against only 344 losses makes him one of the most successful sporting gurus to ever walk the earth. Since he joined Duke in 1980, he won five NCAA championships and went to 12 Final Four tournaments. He is one of the main reasons why Duke’s basketball program remains amongst the strongest in the nation. Also, he has won nine gold and two bronze medals with the U.S. Olympic team since 1992.
4. Gregg Popovich
Coming from Air Force intelligence studies, Coach Pop has spent the last 46 years coaching. His teams include the Pomona-Pitzer, Golden State Warriors, and San Antonio Spurs. His most successful bout includes his years as the San Antonio Spurs coach from 1996 where he won five championships and three NBA Coach of the Year Awards. He also got selected to be the NBA All-Star Game Head Coach four different times in the 21st century and had an outstanding 2019 season according to Forbes.
5. Doc Rivers
After a 13-year-long career as a point guard, Doc Rivers became a coach in 1999 and spent his time at Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Clippers. He has won a championship in 2008 and the NBA Coach of the Year back in 2000. Besides being the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Doc Rivers is also the team’s president of basketball operations. This gives him a unique power that most other coaches in the league have not had a chance to experience.
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Although the list goes on, the five legends mentioned above will probably make everyone’s top ten picks. Additionally, many of them are still working and have time to further boost their resumes. Doing so would cement their titles as the legendary basketball coaches even more.