Hall of Famer Don Nelson is the winningest head coach in NBA history with 1,335 wins to his name.
Over a 34-year NBA coaching career, Nelson served at the helm of four different franchises in the Milwaukee Bucks (1976-1987), Golden State Warriors (1988-1995; 2006-2010), New York Knicks (1995-1996) and Dallas Mavericks (1997-2005).
Nelson's most successful stint was with the Bucks, who he led to 540 wins. A close second to Nelson is another Hall of Famer in Lenny Wilkens, who amassed 1,332 wins.
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The only other head coach to have recorded more than 1,300 wins is the current head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich. Unlike Nelson and Wilkens, all of Pop's wins have come with one franchise.
Here's a look at the 10 winningest coaches in NBA history. Active coaches in bold:
|1.||Don Nelson||1976 - 2010||1335||.557|
|2.||Lenny Wilkens||1969 - 2005||1332||.536|
|3.||Gregg Popovich||1996 - Present||1310||.667|
|4.||Jerry Sloan||1979 - 2011||1221||.603|
|5.||Pat Riley||1981 - 2008||1210||.636|
|6.||George Karl||1984 - 2016||1175||.588|
|7.||Phil Jackson||1989 - 2011||1155||.704|
|8.||Larry Brown||1976 - 2011||1098||.548|
|9.||Rick Adelman||1988 - 2014||1042||.582|
|10.||Doc Rivers||1999 - Present||992||.585|
Leading into the 2021-22 season, Popovich has recorded 1,310 wins and only needs 26 more to climb to the top of the leaderboard.
After Popovich, Doc Rivers is the only active coach among the 10 winningest coaches ever. A majority of Rivers' 992 wins (prior to the 2021-22 season) came as the head coach of the Boston Celtics (416) and the LA Clippers (356).
There are a handful of other active NBA coaches in the top 30 including Rick Carlisle (836 wins, 15th), Nate McMillan (688, 20th), and Erik Spoelstra (607, 27th).
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