Top 5 Head Coaches In New York Knicks History

Top 5 Coaches In Knicks History

Red Holzman
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The New York Knicks have not won many championships in their 67-year history. But they have still seen some incredible playing and coaching talent walk through the Madison Square Garden doors.

Here's a look at the top five coaches in Knicks history.

5. Rick Pitino, 1987-89

Rick Pitino
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5. Rick Pitino, 1987-89

Rick Pitino
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Current Louisville Cardinals head basketball coach Rich Pitino spent two seasons with the Knicks many moons ago, and despite his short tenure, makes this list because he has one of the highest winning percentages of any coach in their history at .549 (90-74) . Although he did not have a ton of success with New York in the playoffs, just getting there was impressive. In 88-89, he led the team to its first division title in 20 seasons.

4. Joe Lapchick, 1947-56

Joe Lapchick
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4. Joe Lapchick, 1947-56

Joe Lapchick
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Lapchick was the team's second coach and won a whopping 326 regular season games for the Knickerbockers, but he had a mediocre playoff career at 30-30. Verified photos of Lapchick are hard to come by, so the one above is his family accepting an award on his behalf.

3. Pat Riley, 1991-95

Pat Riley
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3. Pat Riley, 1991-95

Pat Riley
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Riley would have been the second best Knicks coach of all time had he won the 1994 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets, but the Knicks lost a heartbreaking Game 7 in a year where they undoubtedly should have won a title. Riley has the highest winning percentage of any coach in the team's history at .680 (223-105)

2. Jeff Van Gundy, 1996-2001

Jeff Van Gundy
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2. Jeff Van Gundy, 1996-2001

Jeff Van Gundy
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Van Gundy was Riley's assistant for many years and became the Knicks' head coach in 1996. He led the organization to six playoff appearances and almost to a title in 1999, but they would ultimately lose 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs. He went 248-172 (.590) and deserves the second spot over Riley as Van Gundy had less time with the Knicks' core in their prime.

1. Red Holzman, 1967-77, 1978-82

Red Holzman
Getty Images

1. Red Holzman, 1967-77, 1978-82

Red Holzman
Getty Images

Holzman is undoubtedly the Knicks' crown jewel, and the only coach who has ever won a title for the franchise (1970, 1973). Over two tours of duty, he won 613 games, and if you ask Phil Jackson, who played on Holzman's title teams, he will tell you that Holzman was undeniably the biggest basketball influence of his career. Holzman's a true New York legend.

Timothy Downs is a St. Louis Rams/NFL writer for RantSports.com. You can add him on Google or follow on Twitter @Tidow1212.

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