Statistics can be comforting. They rank, reassure, and cement legacy. But all statistical knowledge becomes null and void when two or more fans get involved. Discussions get heated when comparing numbers alone. Just step into any sports bar (outside of the San Antonio area where the Spurs reign supreme) and hear the case made for one player, team or coach based on statistics, circumstance, and the time-space continuum.
On Monday, February 9, 2015, Gregg Popovich became the 9th NBA head coach to win 1,000 regular season games. That helped him join an elite group of men. In reality, Pop had won a thousand NBA games long before. Ginobili pontificated on why the NBA does not include playoff wins in the count stating “For me it’s not 1,000. It’s 1,149,” he said. “I just checked. I have no idea why they don’t count the playoffs, which are more valuable.”
But as far as the league is concerned, Gregg Popovich currently has 1,055 wins. He is currently the 7th highest ranked head coach in the regular season wins column, which places him just 5 wins behind Phil Jackson, 20 wins behind George Karl, and 60 wins behind Pat Riley. So Pop will be moving up the ranks in the 2017-2018 season. The current all-time rankings are as follows:
But let’s suppose we rank the members of the 1,000 Club by the entirety of their career, playoffs included. By adding in the playoffs, the all-time totals would be:
Creating a new pecking order for all-time wins:
By the way, if the ABA wins are included with the NBA wins, then Larry Brown moves up the ladder from 8th to 3rd in the regular season only category with a combined 1327 wins (1098 NBA and 229 ABA).
And with that in mind, his 20 ABA playoff wins would be included in a grand total 1,447 combined NBA/ABA regular season and playoff wins making LARRY BROWN the winningest coach of all time.
Which could give the folks at the sports bar something new to debate.