The National Basketball Association(NBA) is one of the most popular sporting associations in the country. The NBA draws a television viewership of over 4 million people during regular season and these numbers spike drastically during the much anticipated NBA playoffs.
It’s no doubt that the sport’s biggest stars like Stephon Curry, LeBron James, and Tim Duncan contribute largely to this large fan-base, but it takes more than the players to run a thriving organization. The coaches of the league play a large part in crafting the excitement surrounding the sport. Here are a few of the association’s best coaches:
Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
“Pop” as he is fondly called by his players is one of the greatest coaches in the League’s history. He trails only Phil Jackson in most consecutive winning seasons and holds rings for five NBA Championships under the Spurs. He has also been honored as NBA Coach of the Year three times. Popovich simply knows how to win and has enjoyed a long and successful career in one of the most competitive conferences in the country. Pop could easily be considered the best coach in the business.
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
This young coach found success right away and has led the Heat in back-to-back NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013. He continues to propel his program despite the loss of star players like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Spoelstra finds under-rated players to fill the void and continues to find results. This is a true testament to his leadership and style and he should definitely be counted in as one of the best.
Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
Stevens is a fan-favorite coach who has worked his way up the hierarchy after starting out as a team manager in the collegiate ranks. Shortly after signing with the Celtics the young Stevens led his team to two consecutive NBA Playoff appearances and a winning record in 2015. His calm, analytical coaching style is well-received by the players and a different approach than most coaches in the NBA.
Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks
Carlisle has a reputation of finding a way to win. Last season, Carlisle led an injured, burnt-out team to the NBA Playoffs in one of the most competitive conferences in the league. He continually finds ways to lead his team to victory despite the odds and also led Dallas to the franchise’s first NBA Championship in 2011. Carlisle clearly has a knack for inspiring his players and instilling a winning confidence.
Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Kerr has had incredible results as the head of the Golden State Warriors. Kerr coached Golden State to an NBA Championship in 2015 and he nearly found himself with a second consecutive championship in 2016, before falling short in the finals against Cleveland. Still, he assisted the team in documenting a record 73 wins in one season which is arguably one of the best in NBA history. He was also named NBA Coach of the Year due to his results. It’s obvious that Kerr can get the job done and can be counted as one of the coaching greats in today’s League.
Each of the coaches on this list have different styles, experiences and perspectives on how to coach some of the best athletes in the world, however the group holds one thing in common: they are able to create success in even the most difficult circumstances. Their ability to fight the odds and win games makes them an integral part of the NBA’s tradition and success.