Heat's Spoelstra among 15 all-time 'Greatest Coaches'

By Mark Angelo Mañez

PHOTO: Cloud Front

Filipino-American head coach Erik Spoelstra has recently been named one of the 15 all-time Greatest Coaches as part of the league's celebration of its 75th anniversary, Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning in Manila).

In its official release, the two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, whose mom Elisa was born in San Pablo, Laguna, also joined the ranks of legendary coaches Arnold 'Red' Auerbach, Chuck Daly, Phil Jackson, among others.

The selection panel, which was led by Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, was composed of 43 current and former NBA coaches, alongside the National Basketball Coaches Association.

The honorees have collectively won more than 14,000 regular-season games, guided teams to 45 NBA titles, 16 NBA Coach of the year awards, and six Olympic and World Championship medals.

Here are the 15 Greatest Coaches in NBA History as follows:

• Arnold 'Red' Auerbach (9 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics, including eight in a row from 1959-66)
• Larry Brown (1 NBA title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, also coached the United States Olympic squad that won bronze in Athens the same year)
• Chuck Daly (2 NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons from 1989-90, coached the United States 'Dream Team' that won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics)
• Red Holzman (2 NBA titles with the New York Knicks from 1970 and '73)
• Phil Jackson (11 NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls [1991-93, 1996-98] and the Los Angeles Lakers [2000-02, 2009-10], also led the former to a then-NBA record for most regular season wins with 72)
• Steve Kerr (3 NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors, and owns the current record for most regular-season wins with 73)
• Don Nelson (owns current record for most regular-season wins in history with 1,335; also coached the 1994 gold medal-winning Team USA at the World Championships in Canada)
• Gregg Popovich (5 NBA titles all with San Antonio, holds the record for being the longest-serving coach in a single franchise with 26, and also coached last year's gold medal-winning United States Olympic team in Tokyo)
• Jack Ramsay (1 NBA title with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977)
• K. C. Jones (2 NBA titles with the Celtics)
• Pat Riley (5 NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat)
• Glenn 'Doc' Rivers (1 NBA title with Boston in 2008, became Coach of the Year recipient in his maiden season with the Orlando Magic in 2000)
• Jerry Sloan (served as Utah Jazz' head coach for 23 seasons, second-longest behind Popovich's 26)
• Erik Spoelstra (2 NBA titles with Miami, first Asian-American to win an NBA championship as head coach)
• Lenny Wilkens (1 NBA title with the former Seattle SuperSonics, also coached the 1996 United States Olympic team that won gold in Atlanta)



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