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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich climbs to fifth in career coaching victories

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich moved into fifth place in career coaching victories with Monday’s 100-91 triumph over the Knicks.

Popovich now has 1,176 wins in 1,694 games dating back to 1997, all with the Spurs. Only former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan registered more victories with one team (1,223, which includes playoff wins).

Most coaching victories, NBA history

1. Don Nelson – 1,335

2. Lenny Wilkins – 1,332

3. Jerry Sloan – 1,221

4. Pat Riley – 1,210


6. George Karl – 1,175

7. Phil Jackson – 1,155

8. Larry Brown – 1,098

9. Rick Adelman – 1,042

10. Bill Fitch – 944

Popovich’s career winning percentage of .694 ranks fourth among coaches with at least 250 games, behind Steve Kerr (.843), Phil Jackson (.704) and Billy Cunningham (.698).

Popovich is also tied for third with five career championships and tied for first with three NBA Coach of the Year awards.

Despite all that, Popovich was typically self-deprecatory about his latest achievement.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” he told the media, “except that I’ve had good players, and I’ve coached for eons.”