One of the toughest roles to evaluate in sports is the impact of the coach. In the NBA, so much of the credit is given to star players and rightfully so. You’re not winning a championship without elite talent. Still, stars throughout the history of the NBA like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant can only do so much. Championship level teams need a strategy, leadership, and teamwork to win. That’s where the coach comes in.
Coaches come in different styles and philosophies. Don Nelson was an innovator on offense while Phil Jackson made an impact focusing on teamwork and meditation. By various means, they found ways to galvanize their teams and win games. Here are my best coaches in NBA history.