Saturday, June 14, 2014

Is Popovich better than Red Auerbach?

When I think of Red Auerbach it's simple. He's one of the great basketball minds that has graced this planet. Is he the greatest coach of All-Time? I would say yes compared to someone like Phil Jackson, but where does Red rank against Popovich?


"I think Popovich is the best coach in the history of the sport," Minihane told Gary Tanguay on Arbella Early Edition. "He's even higher than [Red] Auerbach now. It's tougher to win now."

One more victory over the Heat in the Finals would add another NBA title to the four Pop has already won for San Antonio in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Red won nine as a coach, including eight in a row. Phil Jackson has won 11 (six with the Bills, five with the Lakers).

Minihane said it's the multiple rebuiling jobs that put Pop over the top.

"I think it's harder in the NBA," Minihane said. "You saw he Celtics past the Sixers [in the 80s], the Pistons get past the Celtics, the Bulls get past the Pistons. That's the way it goes in the NBA. The Spurs were gone. A couple of times they were knocked down a peg. When you get knocked down you're usually gone. But they've come back time and time again...They've been good for a decade and a half."

His argument is right in many ways, and I can't really disagree with him. Red on the other hand was great in an era that some call watered down compared to the talent in today's game, but that's a poor argument to me. The talent level was equal back then, Red was able to pull of some gutsy, and smart moves to propel the Celtics into 11 titles in 13 seasons. Red coached 9 of those titles, but Red also had a hand in 16 titles for Boston.

I think it's hard to say who's the best. Maybe in time Greg Popovich will edge out Red, and he'll be a step closer if the Spurs closeout the Heat this Sunday. I would rank Pop number 2 over Phil Jackson.

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