December 7, 2023

Gregg Popovich countdown to a Phil Jackson takedown

A win in Chicago moves Pop closer to surpassing The Zen Master in all-time wins as an NBA coach

Not that he cares a whit, but Gregg Popovich will make some significant strides this year in terms of his position as one of the winningest coaches in all of NBA history. Coming into the 2017-18 season, Pop has amassed 1150 wins, currently ranked #7. With Thursday night’s win at the home opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Pop is just 5 wins shy of surpassing the the Zen Master himself – Phil Jackson, currently the 6th winningest coach on the list.

A win tonight in Chicago, where Michael Jordan helped Jackson amass many of his wins, will begin our countdown.

On the journey to that 6th spot, I will be taking us back to remember one of his crowning achievements. Since there are exactly 5 games to go to reach the milestone, it seems appropriate that we recognize his 5 Championship clinching games.

Check back after each W for a recap of the championship clinching games coached by San Antonio’s greatest skipper.

Fun facts for the all-time NBA coaches list

  • Pop is the only coach in the Top 10 to win all of his games as head coach with one team.
  • 25 more wins and Pop will pass ex-Spurs player and assistant coach George Karl for 5th.
  • A 3rd consecutive 60 win season would move the Spurs greatest head coach into a tie with Pat Riley (4th) at 1210 wins.
  • And finally, a 72-game winning season would move Gregg Popovich from his current standing as the 7th winningest coach up to 3rd, passing legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. (Hey, a Spurs fan can dream, can’t he?)
  • And just for fun – Pop is separated by 184 games from Don Nelson, currently the winningest coach in NBA history. So Pop may need a few more seasons before he’s able to challenge for a spot alone at the top.

AFTER THE NEXT WIN– A look back at Championship #1 June 25, 1999.

Source: Pounding The Rock


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