There is no mistake that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is excellent at managing a basketball team. The culture he has created, with the help of Tim Duncan, has been conducive to more than a decades worth of success.
Dating back to the 1997-98 season, Duncan’s rookie year and Popovich’s third, his teams have won 70% of their regular season games, including 15 consecutive winning seasons. (Extrapolated over an 82-game season, the Spurs won an average of 58 games over this span.)
Against stiffer competition, Popovich-led teams have netted four NBA championships and 118 playoff victories.
As such, Phil Jackson’s former assistant, Charley Rosen, ranked Popovich as the NBA’s top head coach in his most coaching recent rankings.
Rounding out the top five (in order) is Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and Nuggets coach George Karl. Popovich’s former assistant, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, slotted in at 29th, ahead of only Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap.
Here is Rosen’s explanation:
Great motivator and disciplinarian. Refreshingly honest at all times. Doing a wonderful job of integrating new players (like Kawhi Leonard) into the mix. As core players begin to show their age, managing to keep the Spurs competitive while rebuilding.