Chicago Bulls: Top 5 Coaches in Team History

Jeff Chase@@Real_Jeff_ChaseSenior Analyst IISeptember 24, 2011

Chicago Bulls: Top 5 Coaches in Team History

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    Since becoming an NBA team in 1966, the Chicago Bulls have had 20 head coaches (Pete Myers doesn't count, he coached two games).

    Of those 20 coaches, only seven ended with a winning percentage over their careers.

    Winning percentage was not the only factor taken into account, since one bad year can throw a team off the grid no matter what.

    What we were looking for was their overall success and what they brought to the Bulls franchise.

    These five coaches are the ones who have had the greatest impact on the Bulls.

Honorable Mention: Vinny Del Negro

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    When He Coached: 2008-10

    Winning Percentage: .500

    His Main Man: Derrick Rose

    Why Are They on Here

    Vinny Del Negro is the honorable mention, but by no means is he one of the best coaches. I put Del Negro under this category because he deserves it. This guy was a nobody, and he walked into messy situation and delivered two playoff 41-41 seasons.

    Del Negro was Rose's first coach, and he coached him to a Rookie of the Year award and All-Star appearance. I don't think Del Negro is a good coach, but credit must be paid to where it is due.

    Where Did They Go

    Del Negro is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. He coached yet another player to a Rookie of the Year award in power forward Blake Griffin. Coincidence? Probably.

5. Scott Skiles

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    When He Coached: 2003-07

    Winning Percentage: .490

    His Main Man: Ben Gordon

    Why Are They on Here

    Skiles makes the list at No. 5 because he was the first sign of hope in the post-Jordan/Jackson era. Scott Skiles was a hard-nosed coach, so he was brought in to teach a young Bulls squad how to play defense and win games.

    The main reason was maturity. With players like Ben Gordon, Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, the Chicago Bulls needed a no-nonsense coach to lead their team. Skiles took the Bulls to the playoffs three times over his four years, making it to the Eastern Conference semifinals his last full year. The Bulls fired him after a dismal start in his fifth season.

    Where Did They Go

    Scott Skiles found himself another job in the Central division. He now coaches the Milwaukee Bucks. He has only taken them to the playoffs once in three seasons.

4. Doug Collins

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    When He Coached: 1986-89

    Winning Percentage: .557

    His Main Man: Michael Jordan

    Why Are They on Here

    The Chicago Bulls were Doug Collins' first head coaching job. Collins was the coach of a young Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Even though he had the key components of the Bulls' later championship runs, Collins never saw that same success. He did take the Bulls to three straight playoff appearances, with the Eastern Conference finals being his deepest run. After the ECF loss, Collins was fired and replaced with Phil Jackson.

    Where Did They Go

    After stints in broadcasting and coaching the Pistons and Wizards, Collins finds himself once again on the sidelines coaching the Philadelphia 76ers.

3. Tom Thibodeau

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    When He Coached: 2010-present

    Winning Percentage: .756

    His Main Man: Derrick Rose

    Why Are They on Here

    I know some would say that Thibodeau has a lot to prove still to be on a "greatest" list, but after his 2010-11 campaign, one can argue he can be considered.

    Thibs led the Chicago Bulls to a league-best 62-20 record, and while doing so he captured the NBA Coach of the Year award. This was the best Bulls team since the Jordan era. Thibs took the Bulls to the ECF where they eventually lost to the Heat.

    He coached Derrick Rose to an MVP, and led a team to great success in what was pretty much a first-year squad. With experience under their belt, it is hard to argue what Thibodeau and his Bulls squad will be capable of in years to come.

    Where Did They Go

    He will likely be around for awhile.

2. Dick Motta

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    When He Coached: 1968-76

    Winning Percentage: .543

    His Main Man: Bob Love

    Why Are They on Here

    Dick Motta was the second head coach in Chicago Bulls history. After Johnny Red Kerr left, Motta took over. Over eight seasons, Motta took the Bulls to the playoffs six times. Led by players Bob Love and Jerry Sloan, the Bulls were successful for six straight years. The only two times Motta didn't make the playoffs were in his first and last seasons.

    Even though Motta never captured a championship in Chicago, he carried a lot of success and built the winning tradition that is still experienced by Bulls fans this very day.

    Where Did They Go

    Motta had quite a long coaching career following his days in Chicago. After Chicago, Motta became the head coach of the Washington Bullets. In his second season there, Motta won the NBA Championship. A well-deserved achievement for a coach who had it coming to him.

1. Phil Jackson

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    When He Coached: 1989-98

    Winning Percentage: .738

    His Main Man: Michael Jordan

    Why Are They on Here

    There should be no question over Phil Jackson being No. 1. Over nine years in Chicago, Jackson won six NBA Championships. Putting together two different three-peats centered around Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Jackson saw nothing but success. Under Jackson, the Chicago Bulls went on to an NBA-record 72-10 season.

    Even with Jordan's brief retirement, Jackson still found success with Pippen as his main man. Jackson saw his most success, though, with Jordan at his side, and when after things fell apart in Chicago following the sixth championship, Jackson, Jordan and Pippen all went their separate ways.

    Where Did They Go

    Jackson found his next job coaching Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers. Jackson has coached the Lakers to five NBA Championships with a .607 winning percentage over six seasons. He retired following the 2010-11 season.

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