NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Top 5 Head Coaches In Los Angeles Lakers History

Top 5 Head Coaches In Los Angeles Lakers History

Phil Jackson Lakers
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The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most historically successful in franchise in NBA history, and a large part of that belongs to the great coaches who the organization has leading them. In compiling my list of the top five coaches in Lakers history, I chose only the best of the best. To make this list, a coach had to win and win often, plus manage some of the greatest players in NBA history.

5. Paul Westhead

Paul Westhead Lakers
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5. Paul Westhead

Paul Westhead Lakers
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Some NBA fans may not remember this, but Paul Westhead, not Pat Riley, led Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to their first championship with the Lakers in 1980. His relationship with Johnson, however, eventually soured, leading to his dismissal. Still, this didn't happen until after Westhead had a successful run on the bench. He won 111 of 161 games as coach of the Lakers.

4. Bill Sharman

Bill Sharman Lakers
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4. Bill Sharman

Bill Sharman Lakers
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It's blasphemous to some that a former Boston Celtics legend is among a list of greatest Lakers coaches, but Bill Sharman is the exception. He led the team to its first championship in Los Angeles after numerous failures. In the 1971-72 season, the Lakers won a record 33 straight games and beat the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. That team was loaded with stars like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich.

3. john Kundla

John Kundla Lakers
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3. John Kundla

John Kundla Lakers
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John Kundla was the coach of the Lakers' first dynasty. In the 1950s, he led the Minneapolis Lakers to five championships with players like George Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen. In Kundla's 11 seasons, his teams missed the playoffs just once, reached the Conference Finals nine times, and finished second or better in the division 10 times.

2. Pat Riley

Pat Riley Lakers
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2. Pat Riley

Pat Riley Lakers
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For years, Pat Riley was the greatest Lakers coach of all time, and some still consider him to be the best to this day. After all, he won 73 percent of the games he coached with the team. His dynasty with Magic, Kareem and James Worthy was truly outstanding. All they did were win. His teams reached the NBA Finals a staggering seven times during his stint, resulting in four NBA titles, two coming against the hated Boston Celtics.

1. Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson Lakers
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1. Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson Lakers
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Even if you discount his time with the Chicago Bulls, Phil Jackson is still the greatest coach in Lakers history. The Zen Master led the Lakers to seven NBA Finals appearances and five championships, which are both records for a Lakers head coach. His dynasty with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal was a thing of beauty before completely disintegrating. Jackson also holds the team record for most wins (610) and most playoff victories (181).

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.