NBA Coaches With Most NBA Finals Wins

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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson (right) talks with assistant coach Frank Hamblen during a game in February 2008.
(Wikimedia Commons/Keith Allison)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Nov 20, 2023, 9:22 PM
  • Here’s a list of NBA coaches with the most NBA Finals wins.
  • Phil Jackson leads the list with 47.
  • Three coaches on the list are still active today.

A great head coach is one of the main components of an NBA championship team. This is especially true when a team goes on a deep playoff run and goes to the NBA Finals, as they make the important tactical decisions and adjustments to enhance their team’s chances of bringing home the prestigious Larry O’Brien basketball trophy.

Several great coaches emerged and led their teams to the promised land throughout the league’s history. But who among them holds the most wins in NBA Finals history and helped his team become perennial contenders in basketball betting?

Phil Jackson has the most wins by an NBA coach in NBA Finals history with 47. He went on 13 trips to the finals in his 20-year career as a head tactician, where he coached the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson coached 73 NBA Finals games and secured a 64% winning percentage.

Next to Jackson in this category of NBA coaches with the most NBA Finals wins is Red Auerbach, with 40 career victories. The legendary man behind the Boston Celtics dynasty in the 1960s appeared in 65 total games in the finals and won 62% of them. Auerbach collected nine titles as a coach and continued to serve the Boston franchise after giving up the coaching duties.

Pat Riley is sitting in the third spot, with 26 NBA Finals wins in nine appearances. He coached the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and the Miami Heat during his coaching career in the league. Riley steered the Lakers and Heat to NBA titles and collected five of his own. He is still very much involved with the Miami Heat, where he serves as an executive.

Wrapping up the top five list are Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr, who amassed 23 wins and 21 wins, respectively, as coaches. These two great coaches are still active in the league as Popovich still coaches the San Antonio Spurs, and Kerr is currently guiding the Golden State Warriors.

Erik Spoelstra has the opportunity to pile up more wins in the NBA Finals after helping the Miami Heat reach the finals for the sixth time in franchise history this 2023 season. They are now facing the Denver Nuggets, coached by Michael Malone and led by superstar Nikola Jokic. As of June 7, the Heat are the underdogs to win the title at -700.

NBA Coaches With Most NBA Finals Wins

RankCoachNBA Finals Wins
1Phil Jackson47
2Red Auerbach40
3Pat Riley26
4Gregg Popovich23
5Steve Kerr21
6John Kundla20
7Erik Spoelstra14
8K.C. Jones12

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.