Starting a new series here at X's and O's of Basketball, the Fave Five series. Just a random sampling of my favorite basketball related stuff. If you have any ideas, go ahead and post a comment here or on the tracking page.

Keeping in mind that I grew up in the 80s, 90s and this decade so I didn't get a chance to see Red Auerbach, Jack Ramsey or Bill Fitch. These are my fave five NBA coaches of all time in no particular order:

Chuck Daly
Architect of the Detroit Bad Boys in the 80s. What's amazing to me about Daly is the ability to keep that crazy group of players together. As talented as that group was, it was a dysfunctional one. Think about it, Laimbeer, Zeke, Rodman, Salley and Dumars. You couldn't find a more dysfunctional group of players even if you imagined it. Yet, the Bad Boys are still considered one of the greatest teams to have ever played in the NBA.

Hubie Brown
In my opinion, Hubie Brown is one of the greatest basketball minds in the history of basketball. He's like the brain surgeon of basketball, he knows exactly what is required for every situation. I'd like to hope that someday, I can be as smart as him.

Coach Brown's greatest achievement in my opinion was coaching the Memphis Grizzlies to the playoffs in 2003 for the first time in franchise history, and winning the Coach of the Year award that year. We're talking about the Grizzlies here. I watched the Vancouver version for all 6 years and to even imagine that they could win a quarter of their games would be too much to ask.

Phil Jackson
The Zen Master. I love Phil Jackson because he's a philosopher, and I like to think that I'm a philosopher. He seeks to understand why people do the things they do and then uses that knowledge to motivate his players. I also like how he's been willing to delegate and not micromanage. Everyone knows Tex Winter is the genius behind their Triangle Offense.

The genius behind Phil in my opinion has been his ability to manage the egos on the teams that he has had to deal with. You think about the Bulls, the fragile psyche of Scottie Pippen and balancing that with the mega-ego of Michael Jordan. Then with the Shaq-Kobe feud. How many coaches do you know could've won 3 Championships with those 2 guys at each other's throats. But he made it work.

Pat Riley
Mr. Slick. Pat Riley brought the cool back to being a basketball coach with those armani suits and the slick back hair. He was like a gansta coach.

But seriously, Riles is so much a part of the NBA the past 30 years. I think back to the Showtime Lakers to the last time the Knicks were really good with Ewing/Starks/Oakley to the Hardaway-Alonzo years in Miami and finally the 2005 Championship with Wade and shaq. He's been good for so long, it's hard to believe that he's coached his last game ever.

Gregg Popovich
Arguably the best coach currently coaching in the NBA. Gregg Popovich in my mind is the ultimate game coach. Though he probably micromanages more than he should, it always seems that he makes the right call, the right substitution, the right matchup all the time. Of course, it helps to have such a coachable group of players in Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. For a guy that most thought wouldn't amount to much when he took over the coaching job in '96, Pop has proved all the doubters wrong.


  1. Next Generation Baller  

    April 17, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    How can you leave out Red Auerbach ? I do not even like the celtics but have to totally respect Red for what he did.