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Thread: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    An empty chair could have won with da Bulls...and da Lakers of 2000-2002.

    Phil is supposed to be a great people manager, yet he failed to manage the most talented team he ever had with this list of all-stars: ...Karl Malone, Gary Peyton, Horace Grant, Derek Fisher, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant.

    How do you not get it done with that talent?
    They were old and over the hill. They might have won if Malone had not got injured. The fact is the Bulls and the Lakers didn't win anything with those same players you mention until Phil came along. I think he has another ring as a player too.....

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Those claims about John Wooden are unsubstantiated. Furthermore; Bob Knight is not without error. However, it seems as though John Wooden thought that Bob Knight was a great coach:
    “People think I don't like him,” Wooden said of Knight more recently. “I don’t think there's ever been a better coach than Bobby Knight. Do I like the way he teaches? No, I don’t. I never cared for it, but nevertheless.”

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1984 View Post
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    Those claims about John Wooden are unsubstantiated. Furthermore; Bob Knight is not without error. However, it seems as though John Wooden thought that Bob Knight was a great coach:
    The claims about Wooden are substantiated and the players involved have even admitted it. The NCAA finally got involved in 1980 when Larry Brown was the coach and their were sanctions including a ban in tournament participation. The booster also had a federal case but he died four days before he was to be served on that one. Much has been written about this and even Wooden didn't deny it saying only he did the best that he could..... Knight never had any use for John Wooden because he was a cheater, pure and simple.

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    Post Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    This is a great article:

    Read the complete article, HERE.

    If you’re still waiting to see the kind statement former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight releases about the late John Wooden, you can probably cease the vigil.

    Knight and Wooden were giants of the sport, and no two men advanced the game, and quite frankly, advanced the business of the game, more than these two.

    But the truth is, they didn't like each other.

    Knight has publicly stated that Wooden let the likes of Sam Gilbert, a notorious booster who allegedly provided some UCLA players with gifts in violation of NCAA rules, remain far too close to the Bruins’ program.

    Knight was even quoted as saying you won’t find anyone like Gilbert loitering around the IU program while he was coach. Clearly, Knight thought Wooden turned a blind eye to things he shouldn’t have, allowing UCLA alums to buy talent that fueled the school's magical hoops run of the 1960s and 1970s.

    Wooden respected Knight’s coaching ability, but quite frankly, didn’t like the way he went about it. And he wasn’t shy about saying so publicly.

    “I wouldn’t want anybody I love to play for Bob Knight,” Wooden once said.

    Wooden did soften somewhat.

    “People think I don't like him,” Wooden said of Knight more recently. “I don’t think there's ever been a better coach than Bobby Knight. Do I like the way he teaches? No, I don’t. I never cared for it, but nevertheless.”

    Not exactly a resounding compliment, but Knight was never effusive in his praise of Wooden either—despite the 10 national championships he compiled at UCLA.

    Knight, ever respectful of the men who walked his career path before him and the history of the game, often lavishes praises on the likes of Henry Iba and Clair Bee, but rarely, if ever, on the so-called Wizard of Westwood, a deity in the sport of college basketball, especially in Indiana, where Knight most notably plied his trade and won three NCAA national titles.

    Maybe part of the rift was merely competitive juices flowing in opposite directions. Their teams collided more than once on the hardwood in the 1970s.

    Despite their differences, the on-court wars and their different approaches, the two actually have some very important similarities.

    First, neither one came anywhere close to maximizing their own personal fortune in the sport of college basketball.

    Wooden, amazingly, never made more than $32,500 annually. Least you think this was just a product of Wooden’s era, remember, there were no shortage of coaches knocking down $150,000 or more in the mid and late 1970s.

    Unthinkable that some coach somewhere during the same era in college basketball would make four or five times as much as Wooden. But he never complained about it.

    Knight too lived on a relatively small salary. Sure he knocked down five to 10 times what Wooden did, but only half of some of his Big Ten counterparts. Again, to think Knight’s pay wouldn’t be tops in the Big Ten year-in and year-our is kind of crazy. But that’s the way it was, and IU didn’t have to enter the arms race until Knight’s departure. Now, IU pays coach Tom Crean in excess of $2 million annually.

    Knight and Wooden certainly helped commercialize what we now know as March Madness, but neither imbibed much in the fruits of their own labor.

    Money clearly never moved these two titans.

    Two things did move this complex duo; winning and principle.

    And it was those two things that likely drove a wedge between them. Both men wanted to win so bad, maybe they never quite got over their on-court run-ins, or the inevitable comparisons that dogged them.

    You think Knight still doesn’t dream about Steven Downing’s fifth foul in the 1973 NCAA tournament game against UCLA. Think again.

    For both men, living by principle meant doing things their way—and only their way. Knight wasn’t the only one of the two to tell players my way or the highway. Ask Bill Walton—and his beard—about that.

    Problem was, their ways were far different. Wooden was a golly doggone kinda guy, while Knight never met a swear word he couldn’t make good use of in a practice or game-time huddle.

    Wooden liked to philosophize, Knight preferred to intimidate.

    Though their teaching styles were vastly different, both valued education on and off the court, with graduation rates that far exceeded NCAA mandates.

    Both were seen as mavericks, even radicals, in their coaching styles.

    Both got results.

    Both thought they played it straight by the book.

    In the end, both were fiercely loyal to the players who stayed loyal to them, and to the game they loved without reservation.

    They were both madly possessed with winning and doing things right, and Knight and Wooden both thought they chose the correct path to that end.

    And who am I to say otherwise?

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1984 View Post
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    This is a great article:

    Read the complete article, HERE.
    Nonetheless, Bobby ran a clean program. UCLA had paid athletes and Wooden damned well knew all about it. Therefore he was a scum bag cheater.....

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlu View Post
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    Nonetheless, Bobby ran a clean program. UCLA had paid athletes and Wooden damned well knew all about it. Therefore he was a scum bag cheater.....
    Blu: go chew on something else:


    I say that with all the respect in the world, and no malice intended.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    The Pistons team a few years ago...response to spreedom..
    Last edited by SIR-LANCE-ALOT; 12-30-2012 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Response to spreedom

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlu View Post
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    They were old and over the hill. They might have won if Malone had not got injured. The fact is the Bulls and the Lakers didn't win anything with those same players you mention until Phil came along. I think he has another ring as a player too.....
    But Shaq won the next year...and Kobe got two more after that and a finals appearance. He may get another one this year and Phil is no where to be seen...but the Lakers are loaded with talent.

    Yes, Phil is better than Del Harris. But his first year in Chicago prior to MJ, Pippen and Horace maturing, Phil didn't take the Bulls any further than Doug Collins. They both went to the ECF. Once the players got a little more experience, they became successful. This had little to do with Phil Jackson.

    The players liked the man. He was an interesting fellow. But he was no strategic genius like Popovich, Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown. Phil just had the best players for just about his entire coaching career.

    Edit: ...and the two years without Jordan, they still had Pippen, Kukoc, Grant, etc., and lost in the second round both times. That team was all Jordan.
    Last edited by BlueNGold; 12-30-2012 at 06:44 PM.
    LeWade are going down.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlu View Post
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    The claims about Wooden are substantiated and the players involved have even admitted it. The NCAA finally got involved in 1980 when Larry Brown was the coach and their were sanctions including a ban in tournament participation. The booster also had a federal case but he died four days before he was to be served on that one. Much has been written about this and even Wooden didn't deny it saying only he did the best that he could..... Knight never had any use for John Wooden because he was a cheater, pure and simple.
    Link? I'd like to read about this.
    "I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right."

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Link? I'd like to read about this.
    I already posted one. Search "John Wooden NCAA Violations" and there are numerous articles about it and how the NCAA turned its head. Several of the players called this booster "Papa" and he was around the team facilities all of the time. Even Bobby Knight knew his name.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    As mush as I hate to defend OlBlu, he's mostly on the money here. Sam Gilbert provided UCLA players with illegal benefits during Wooden's years there. No question about it. Wooden has never been found to know about Gilbert's involvement with his players. But I find it highly unlikely that a man as prepared and detail oriented as Wooden failed to notice his jobless and poor players were running around LA in new cars...

    There have been many many articles, including a 1981 investigation piece by the LA Times regarding Gilbert, UCLA, and these allegations. The LA Times article is even referenced on Wooden's Wikipedia entry and linked to in the bibliography at the bottom.
    Last edited by travmil; 12-30-2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    But Shaq won the next year...and Kobe got two more after that and a finals appearance. He may get another one this year and Phil is no where to be seen...but the Lakers are loaded with talent.

    Yes, Phil is better than Del Harris. But his first year in Chicago prior to MJ, Pippen and Horace maturing, Phil didn't take the Bulls any further than Doug Collins. They both went to the ECF. Once the players got a little more experience, they became successful. This had little to do with Phil Jackson.

    The players liked the man. He was an interesting fellow. But he was no strategic genius like Popovich, Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown. Phil just had the best players for just about his entire coaching career.

    Edit: ...and the two years without Jordan, they still had Pippen, Kukoc, Grant, etc., and lost in the second round both times. That team was all Jordan.
    Phil was a great ego manager. That is where his greatness ends. In the NBA though that is sometimes all you need from a coach to have a great team.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    Phil was a great ego manager. That is where his greatness ends. In the NBA though that is sometimes all you need from a coach to have a great team.
    Yes, but even Popovich is better at that.
    LeWade are going down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Yes, but even Popovich is better at that.
    The spurs have egos? That team is full of great guys for the most part...outside of the occasional headcase
    Last edited by Dgreenwell3; 12-30-2012 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dgreenwell3 View Post
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    The spurs have egos? That team is full of great guys for the most part
    Funny how it works when you have the right coach.
    LeWade are going down.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    I think Phil is best at the psychological aspects of coaching, and only good at X's and O's. I think he's a great coach. I just don't know that he's the best. Pop's teams run better offense, and play better defense.

    Similar to Frank, to be honest. I think Frank's got the potential to be a fantastic coach (he's already a pretty good one.) He's very very good at making adjustments, motivating players (the psycho aspect) and although I think he's better at the X's and O's than given credit for, I don't know that he's amazing at it.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR-LANCE-ALOT View Post
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    The Pistons team a few years ago...response to spreedom..
    That's one team in the last 40 years. Proves my point.

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    John Wooden
    Everybody ride the Scola train! WHOO WHOO

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    I don't care for all his baggage, but if the question is "who is the best basketball coach..." then it is Robert Montgomery Knight.

    If the questions is "who is the best human being to be a great basketball coach?" then you can rule out all of these: Knight, Auerbach, Jackson, Wooden, Brown, etc. You'd be left with Slick, Riley, Popovich, and Coach K. That's not the original question, but then again when you've got such a big a-hole as the #1 coach of all time then you can't avoid the tangental question.

    But I wouldn't take Slick, Riley, Pop, or Coach K over Coach Knight.

    I also wouldn't overlook the small college guys. Paul Patterson at my alma mater should be in the discussion as well and there are frankly a number of less-famous but excellent coaches out there at small college and high school levels (Sam Alford and Hurley's dad would also be in the mix.)

    There also seems to be a bias toward only head coaches in the response. Dick Harter wasn't a very good HC but he's absolutely one of the all-time greatest coaches, too. Great assistants sometime are more important than having a great HC.
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    Cool Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I don't care for all his baggage, but if the question is "who is the best basketball coach..." then it is Robert Montgomery Knight.

    If the questions is "who is the best human being to be a great basketball coach?" then you can rule out all of these: Knight, Auerbach, Jackson, Wooden, Brown, etc. You'd be left with Slick, Riley, Popovich, and Coach K. That's not the original question, but then again when you've got such a big a-hole as the #1 coach of all time then you can't avoid the tangental question.

    But I wouldn't take Slick, Riley, Pop, or Coach K over Coach Knight.

    I also wouldn't overlook the small college guys. Paul Patterson at my alma mater should be in the discussion as well and there are frankly a number of less-famous but excellent coaches out there at small college and high school levels (Sam Alford and Hurley's dad would also be in the mix.)

    There also seems to be a bias toward only head coaches in the response. Dick Harter wasn't a very good HC but he's absolutely one of the all-time greatest coaches, too. Great assistants sometime are more important than having a great HC.
    I look at Coach K as cementing Bobby Knight as the best college coach ever. He is a part of the Knight coaching tree and part of his success is Knight's success....

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    I don't think Coach K is a better "coach" than Coach Knight, but I do think he'd win the popular vote by a landslide.

    I also think it underestimates Coach K to imply that all of his success is because Knight was his mentor, as some have done. That was also 35+ years ago, and Coach K certainly adapted to the ego of the modern player better than Knight did. I think Knight might've been able to do more with those players as a tactician, but now that there are non-jerk options that are almost as good as Bobby, why put yourself through his nonsense?
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I don't think Coach K is a better "coach" than Coach Knight, but I do think he'd win the popular vote by a landslide.

    I also think it underestimates Coach K to imply that all of his success is because Knight was his mentor, as some have done. That was also 35+ years ago, and Coach K certainly adapted to the ego of the modern player better than Knight did. I think Knight might've been able to do more with those players as a tactician, but now that there are non-jerk options that are almost as good as Bobby, why put yourself through his nonsense?
    I agree with most of this. The "Woody Hayes" style Bobby grew up with was dated. It worked with the right player. Coach K admits that he learned much of what he does from Knight. You are right about the popularity contest but that wasn't the question.....

  28. #98

    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    If you take into account the coaches who came from another coach's program, Dean Smith and Rick Pitino need to be in the conversation. What Pitino did with the UK program while it was on probation, was epic. He was a terrible NBA coach, but the guy can flat coach college. Is A. Rupp in this conversation or is UK out because they are "dirty". NC too?

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    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousy47 View Post
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    If you take into account the coaches who came from another coach's program, Dean Smith and Rick Pitino need to be in the conversation. What Pitino did with the UK program while it was on probation, was epic. He was a terrible NBA coach, but the guy can flat coach college. Is A. Rupp in this conversation or is UK out because they are "dirty". NC too?
    Rupp is definitely out because Kentucky has always been dirty and he was a racist too. Dean Smith has to be considered and his coaching tree is impressive. However, he didn't always get the best out of his talent. Remember the old joke about who could hold Michael Jordan under 20 points in a game? Dean Smith. I always thought that Smith had much better talent almost every year than Bobby Knight but Knight seemed to be able to get more out of them (or they just didn't play).

  30. #100

    Default Re: Who is the best basketball coach of all time?

    lu, we agree on something. I think with the level of NBA class talent Bob Knight had to work with, he was and still is the best college coach, ever. With the exception of 1975 and 1976, when he would have had 2 undefeated seasons and 2 straight NCAA championships, he never had 3 or more NBA talents on his teams. What he did with what he had, makes him the best ever, IMO. Dean Smith had a lot better talent and insisted they play the game his way. That may have been the best and worst of the Iba's, Dean Smith and Bob Knights. Coach K is the closest to Knight but with a lot better talent.

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