George Karl Passes Phil Jackson on NBA's All-Time Coaching Wins List

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George Karl Passes Phil Jackson on NBA's All-Time Coaching Wins List
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl surpassed the legendary Phil Jackson for fifth on the NBA's all-time wins list Monday with a 116-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The NBA announced Karl's milestone accomplishment on Twitter:

Karl's 1,156th victory puts him 54 wins shy of Pat Riley for No. 4 on the list. 

The 63-year-old head coach is in his second year with the Kings after taking over with 30 games left in the 2014-15 season. He is just 25-39 with Sacramento but has won at every other stop during his career.

Over a 27-year span as a head coach, Karl has taken the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets to the playoffs. His best season came during the 1995-96 campaign, when he won 64 regular-season games with Seattle, falling to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games in the NBA Finals.

University of Nevada head basketball coach Eric Musselman tweeted out a quote attributed to Karl that might explain some of his success:

That philosophy has allowed Karl to hear his name mentioned among some NBA greats:

All-Time NBA Coaching Wins List: Top 5
Name Wins Losses Seasons
Don Nelson 1,335 1,063 1977-2010
Lenny Wilkens 1,332 1,155 1970-2005
Jerry Sloan 1,221 803 1980-2011
Pat Riley 1,210 694 1982-2008
George Karl 1,156 795 1985-current

Basketball-Reference.com

If he can coach into next season, he has a great shot at surpassing Riley and possibly Jerry Sloan for No. 3 on the list.

Karl may retire without winning an NBA championship, but there is no doubt that he will go down as one of the all-time greats.

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