Top 5 NBA Coaches With Most Championships Won

NBA Coaches With Most Championships Won: Basketball is a really exciting sport where people have to be strong, work together, and have good plans. But, there’s someone important behind every team that wins a big championship – the head coach. They’re like the boss, making plans, cheering up the players, and making the team special. In the history of the NBA, some coaches are super famous for winning a lot of championships.

Today, let’s look at the stories of these coaches who won the most championships. We’ll talk about how they coached, what kind of leaders they were, and how they made amazing teams. There’s John Kundla, Phil Jackson, and the defensive genius, Red Auerbach. These coaches not only changed how basketball is played but also made fans and players happy.

NBA Coaches With Most Championships Won

So, get ready to go to the basketball court, where winning cheers and the sound of sneakers on the floor tell the story of becoming champions. Let’s meet the coaches who have the most special rings in the NBA.

1. Phil Jackson

  • Team(s) Won with (Years): Chicago Bulls (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998) Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
  • Coaching Career: 1989–1998, 1999–2004, 2005–2011
  • Number of Years Coached: 20
  • NBA championship: 11

Phil Jackson is a top coach in the NBA with the most championships. Before becoming a coach, he played as a power forward for 12 seasons and won NBA titles with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973.

NBA Coaches With Most Championships Won

As a coach, he led the Chicago Bulls from 1989 to 1998, winning six championships, and then coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2005 to 2011, winning five more championships. His 11 championships as a coach broke the old record of nine held by Red Auerbach.

In 2007, he was honored by being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1996, during the NBA’s 50th anniversary, he was recognized as one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history.

StatsRegular seasonPlayoffs
Games Coached1,640 333
Winning Percentage.704.688

2. Red Auerbach

  • Team(s) Won with (Years): Boston Celtics (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
  • Coaching Career: 1946–1966
  • Number of Years Coached: 20
  • NBA championship: 9

Red Auerbach is the second-highest-ranked coach in terms of NBA championships. He was a head coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA), notably with the Boston Celtics, but also with the Washington Capitols and Tri-Cities Blackhawks.

Auerbach left his mark on the NBA with 938 wins and an impressive nine championships as a coach. After retiring from coaching in 1966, he continued to contribute to the Celtics as president and a front-office executive until his passing.

As a general manager and team president, Auerbach added seven more NBA titles to his name, bringing his total to a record-setting 16 championships over 29 years. This achievement makes him one of the most successful team officials in North American professional sports history.

In recognition of his contributions, the NBA Coach of the Year award was named the “Red Auerbach Trophy” in 1967, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969. In total, Red Auerbach accumulated nine championships in his remarkable career.

StatsRegular seasonPlayoffs
Games Coached1,417 168
Wins938 99
Losses479 69
Winning Percentage.662.589

3. John Kundla

  • Team(s) Won with (Years): Minneapolis Lakers (1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954)
  • Coaching Career: 1948–1958, 1958–1959
  • Number of Years Coached: 11
  • NBA championship: 5

John Kundla holds the third position among NBA coaches with the most championships. His coaching tenure spanned 12 seasons, from 1947 to 1959, during which his teams claimed six league championships – one in the NBL, one in the BAA, and four in the NBA.

Before his NBA coaching career, Kundla served as the head basketball coach at the University of St. Following his successful stint with the Lakers, he continued his coaching journey as the head coach at the University of Minnesota for ten seasons, from 1959 to 1968.

John Kundla’s significant contributions to basketball earned him a well-deserved spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Throughout his coaching career, Kundla accumulated an impressive five championships, solidifying his legacy as one of the notable figures in basketball history.

StatsRegular seasonPlayoffs
Games Coached725 95
Wins423 60
Winning Percentage.583.632

4. Pat Riley

  • Team(s) Won with (Years): Los Angeles Lakers (1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) Miami Heat (2006)
  • Coaching Career: 1981–1990, 1991–2003, 2005–2008
  • Number of Years Coached: 24
  • NBA championship: 5

Pat Riley is the fourth-ranked coach in terms of NBA championships, and he’s been a key figure for the Miami Heat since 1995, serving as the team president. Riley also took on the role of head coach for the Heat from 1995 to 2003 and later from 2005 to 2008. Often referred to as “the Godfather,” Riley is considered one of the greatest NBA figures, excelling both as a coach and an executive.

Throughout his coaching career, Riley has won five NBA championships as a head coach. Four of these came with the Los Angeles Lakers during the Showtime era in the 1980s, and one was with the Miami Heat in 2006. Impressively, Riley is a nine-time NBA champion across different roles – as a player in 1972, as an assistant coach in 1980, as a head coach in 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, and 2006, and as an executive in 2012 and 2013.

Riley has had a remarkable presence in NBA history, appearing in 25 percent of all NBA Finals throughout his career as a player, coach, and executive. He received the NBA Coach of the Year award three times (1989–90, 1992–93, and 1996–97) with the Lakers, New York Knicks, and the Heat, respectively. He also coached NBA All-Star Game teams nine times, eight with the Western Conference and once with the Eastern Conference.

StatsRegular seasonPlayoffs
Games Coached1,904 282
Winning Percentage.636.606

5. Gregg Popovich

  • Team(s) Won with (Years): San Antonio Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
  • Coaching Career: 1996–present
  • Number of Years Coached: 27
  • NBA championship: 5

Gregg Popovich holds the fifth spot among NBA coaches with the most championships. He has been an integral part of the San Antonio Spurs organization since 1994, initially serving as the president of basketball operations and general manager before taking on the role of head coach in 1996. Nicknamed “Coach Pop,” he is recognized as the longest-tenured active coach in the NBA and all other major sports leagues in the United States.

Coach Popovich is a highly esteemed figure, boasting the most wins of any coach in NBA history. His coaching prowess has earned him widespread recognition as one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Under his leadership, the Spurs achieved a winning record in his first 22 full seasons as head coach, surpassing Phil Jackson for the most consecutive winning seasons in NBA history.

Throughout his tenure, Coach Popovich played a pivotal role in the sustained success of the Spurs, contributing to their winning record against every other NBA team. He led the Spurs to all five of their NBA titles, making him one of only five coaches in NBA history to achieve this feat. In addition to his NBA success, Coach Popovich served as the head coach of the U.S. national team at the 2020 Summer Olympics, guiding the team to a gold medal.

StatsRegular seasonPlayoffs
Games Coached2,127 284
Losses761 114
Winning Percentage .642.599

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