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BASKETBALL HISTORY

The NBA at 50

One hundred and seven NBA championship rings. More than 400 hundred NBA All-Star Game selections. Nearly one million points scored.

So boasts the collective resume of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, selected by a blue-ribbon panel of media, former players and coaches, current and former general managers and team executives. NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the 50 Greatest Players at a press luncheon on Oct. 29, 1996, in New York City.

Joining Stern in the unveiling of the 50 Greatest Players, which tipped off the League's season-long NBA at 50 celebration, were four prominent members of the list -- Wilt Chamberlain, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, George Mikan and Bill Russell.

The announcement was made at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which occupies the site of the former Commodore Hotel, where the original NBA charter was signed on June 6, 1946.

Panelists were asked to select the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, without regard to position. Voters did not rank their selections and former players were not allowed to vote for themselves.

At the start of the 1996-97 season the 50 players had accumulated 107 NBA Championships, 49 Most Valuable Player Awards, 17 Rookie of the Year honors, 447 All-Star Game selections, 36 scoring titles, 923,791 total points and 410,327 total rebounds.

The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History

The ten coaches have combined to win 741 playoff games and 13 Coach of the Year Awards, which the NBA first awarded for the 1962-63 season. Four of the coaches - Jackson, Nelson, Riley and Wilkens - are still active.


The Top Ten Coaches in NBA History
(alphabetical order)

Red Auerbach

Red Auerbach

938 wins

479 losses

(.662)

Third-winningest coach in NBA history ... Served 20 seasons as NBA head coach ... Coach of the Year for 1964-65 ... NBA 25th Anniversary All-Time team coach ... Selected as the "Greatest Coach in the History of the NBA" by the PBWAA in 1980 ... Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

Chuck Daly

Chuck Daly

605 wins

420 losses

(.590)

Fifteenth-winningest coach in NBA history ... 1998-99 is his second season as Orlando Magic coach; 14th season as NBA head coach ... Guided Detroit Pistons to victories in 1989 and 1990 NBA Finals ... His teams posted winning records in 11 of 13 campaigns ... Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Fitch

Bill Fitch

944 wins

1,106 losses

(.460)

Second-winningest coach in NBA history ... 22 seasons as NBA head coach with Cleveland, Boston, Houston, New Jersey, LA Clippers... Guided Boston Celtics to victory in 1981 NBA Finals ... Coach of the Year for 1975-76 and 1979-80.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Holzman

Red Holzman

696 wins

604 losses

(.535)

Eleventh-winningest coach in NBA history ... Served 18 seasons as NBA head coach ... Led Knicks to victory in 1970 and 1973 NBA Finals ... Coach of the Year for 1969-70 ... Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985.

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson

545 wins

193 losses

(.738)

Best winning percentage in NBA history ... Enjoyed nine successful seasons as Chicago head coach (1989-98) ... Reached 400 wins in only 557 games, second-fastest to milestone in league history ... Guided the Chicago Bulls to NBA championships in 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98 ... 1995-96 Coach of the Year.

 

 

 

 

 

John Kundla

John Kundla

423 wins

302 losses

(.583)

Coached Minneapolis to five NBA championships in six seasons from 1948-49 through 1953-54 ... Served 11 years as NBA head coach ... His 1949-50 Minneapolis team recorded fourth-best home winning percentage in NBA history (.868/30-1) ... Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Nelson

Don Nelson

867 wins

679 losses

(.575)

Sixth-winningest coach in NBA history ... Has served 20 years as NBA head coach with Milwaukee, Golden State, New York and Dallas ... Joins Pat Riley as the only coaches ever to be named Coach of the Year three times (1982-83, 1984-85 and 1991-92) ... His clubs have recorded nine 50-plus-win seasons and seven divisional championships.

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Ramsay

Jack Ramsay

864 wins

783 losses

(.525)

Seventh-winningest coach in NBA history ... Served 20 years as NBA head coach ... Coached 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers to victory in NBA Finals ... Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

 

 

 

 

 

Pat Riley

Pat Riley

914 wins

387 losses

(.703)

Fifth-winningest coach in NBA history ... Achieved 800th career win on Nov. 2, 1996, reaching the mark faster than any coach in league history... 1998-99 will be his fourth season as Miami head coach; 17th season as a head coach in NBA ... Led four L.A. Lakers teams to victory in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988 NBA Finals ... 1989-90, 1992-93 and 1996-97 Coach of the Year.

 

 

 

 

 

Lenny Wilkens

Lenny Wilkens

1,120 wins

908 losses

(.526)

Winningest coach in NBA history ... 1998-99 will be his sixth season as Atlanta head coach; 26th season as a head coach in NBA ... 1993-94 Coach of the Year ... Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 ... Recently selected one of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.