Today is a brief guide to the coaches who invented the beloved NBA basketball
This is also not the first anniversary list. In 1996, 50 players and 10 coaches were chosen (apparently guided by the fact that there are five players on the floor in each team, and one head trainer). After 25 years, the lists were expanded by one and a half times.
Unlike the top players, the coaching rating is now compiled according to a different principle than in 1996. Then the list was determined exclusively by journalists. This season, the task of choosing the best in history was transferred to the union of best trainers. Everything seems to be fair: professionals are the best at their craft, the best trainers should be chosen by trainers.
The most winning person in NBA history: 9 titles in the 1950s and 1960s – as a Boston coach, 7 more (in the 60s, 70s, 80s) – as a general manager. Red did not invent tactics and combinations, he invented the concept: it was his Washington Capitals who were the first to play the fast break in the NBA (yes, he worked not only in Boston), his authorship belongs to the ideas of the “sixth man” and the mobile center. Auerbach was also the strongest psychologist and motivator and appreciated the talent of the players.
The best evidence of Auerbach’s influence on the NBA was not even his championship rings and not the fact that the best trainer of the season is awarded the Red Auerbach Prize annually, but the number of students: four ex-Red players at once became champion trainers in the NBA, one more in the NCAA, and one more made this list and into the Hall of Fame even without a championship title.
75 years of ongoing championship ambitions – and only two titles: the New York Knicks, and they won both titles in the 1970s under the leadership of Red Holzman. The Knicks became the first championship team to rely on defensive play.
Holzman came to the club in ’68 and completely reconfigured the team, emphasizing physical preparation, long-range shots (then there was no three-point line yet), ball movement in attack and powerful pressing in defense. And it was under Holtzman that Phil Jackson spent most of his NBA career.
Tweed jackets, plaid pants, two championship rings: Ramsey actually started his NBA career as the general manager of Philadelphia Wilt Chamberlain. But when Wilt and the head trainer of that team quarreled with the owner and left, the general manager had to go to the coaching post.
The first attempts to build something of their own in Philadelphia and Buffalo were not successful, but one of the most beautiful championship teams in NBA history was born in Portland in the first season. At the time of his retirement, Ramsey was second only to Auerbach in regular season wins, and at some point, one in four current NBA trainers was a student of Dr. Jack.
The main long-liver of the NBA coaching shop – 32 seasons, 2487 games! Lenny started out as a player-coach at Seattle back in 1969 and ended up at the Knicks coaching Trevor Ariza. One of the most best trainers by the players – but the list of these players shows that Lenny coached mostly in modest teams.
But even so, he succeeded: two NBA Finals with the Sonics (champion 1979), where for the first time all the attacks did not go through the back line player, but through the forward; the magnificent Cleveland of the early 90s, which, due to injuries, could not even reach 50% of its potential; formidable defensive “Atlanta” with Mutombo. All Lenny’s teams were different – Wilkens just let them play, not driving them into the framework of strategies.
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