Engaged. Five NBA coaches who stay on a team the longest

Update Post: November 30, 2023 6:19 pm

Last summer saw several major coaching changes in the NBA. This is not unusual, because teams break up with coaches from time to time for different reasons: unsatisfactory results, damaged relationships with players, etc. Staying in position is harder than it seems. But there are several specialists in the league who do it better than others.

Here is a list of the five longest-tenured active coaches in the NBA.

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Taylor Jenkins has been with Memphis since June 2019.

taylor jenkins

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

Jenkins became Memphis’ head coach on June 11, 2019. Before that, he spent five years in Atlanta and one year in Milwaukee as an assistant coach.

The 39-year-old specialist was entrusted with the young Grizzlies team and turned it into one of the strongest in the West. Jenkins and his players have yet to achieve great playoff success, but last season and the season before last they finished second in the conference at the end of the regular season. Both times, Memphis also won the Southwest Division, something that had never happened in franchise history before 2022.

Jenkins has at his disposal Jaren Jackson Jr., last season’s best defensive player, as well as Ja Morant, one of the most talented basketball players of the new generation, although “problematic” off the court. They are both only 24 years old. And if the Grizzlies don’t reach the conference finals next season, Jenkins’ future with the team could be in doubt.

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Mike Malone has been with Denver since June 2015.

mike malone

Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The only coach on this list to have coached two different franchises during his career. Malone spent a year and a half with Sacramento before being fired after starting the 2014-15 season with an 11-13 record. Six months later, on June 15, 2015, he was assigned to the Nuggets.

Denver missed the playoffs in Malone’s first three seasons, but hasn’t missed the postseason since 2019. And this year the team reached the NBA Finals for the first time and won the championship trophy.

The Nuggets’ run last playoffs was just crazy. Thanks to the phenomenal play of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, they beat Minnesota in five games, the Phoenix of Devin Booker and Kevin Durant in six, the Lakers of LeBron and Anthony Davis in four, and then the Miami of Jimmy Butler, also in five.

Now Michael Malone hopes Denver becomes a championship dynasty under his leadership. So, in the next season, the Nuggets will seriously compete for the right to defend the title.

The Jokic brothers congratulated Malone on reaching the NBA Finals:

Steve Kerr has been with Golden State since May 2014.

Steve Kerr

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On May 14, 2014, Steve Kerr replaced Mark Jackson as head coach of Golden State. Under his leadership, the team reached the finals six times in nine years and became NBA champions four times.

Kerr became the first in history to begin his coaching career with 19 wins in 21 games. In their debut season, the Warriors not only won the trophy, but also went 67-15 (39-2 at home), which was the best record in franchise history at the time. Well, a year later, Golden State finished the championship with 73 wins, which remains an NBA record to this day. Kerr then received the coach of the year award.

In 2017, he became the first specialist of all time whose team won 67 or more games in three straight seasons. In 2022, when the league celebrated its 75th anniversary, Kerr was named to the list of the 15 greatest coaches.

Next year, he and Golden State will try to make another bid to reach the finals. In the offseason, the franchise not only extended Draymond Green’s contract, but also added veteran Chris Paul.

The most loyal players:

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Erik Spoelstra – in Miami since April 2008

Erik Spoelstra

Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Erik Spoelstra ended up in Miami back in 1995. At first he worked as a video coordinator on the coaching staff, and two years later, in 1997, he began to combine two positions: video coordinator and assistant. He worked as an assistant coach until 2008, when Pat Riley left his position and independently selected Spoelstra as his successor.

Under the specialist’s leadership, the Heat reached the NBA finals six times: from 2011 to 2014, as well as in 2020 and 2023. In 2012 and 2013 they were champions twice in a row.

Next season will be Spoelstra’s 16th at the helm of Miami. In April 2021, he became the sixth coach in NBA history to win 600 games with a single team, and in March of this year he entered the top 20 of the league’s winningest coaches.

Salary projections for Spoelstra and Kerr:

ESPN analyst: Kerr and Spoelstra salaries will increase significantly due to Williams contract

Greg Popovich has been with San Antonio since December 1996.

Greg Popovich

Photo: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

The 2023/2024 season will be Greg Popovich’s 28th with San Antonio. He took over the team on December 10, 1996 and has since won five championship trophies, been named Coach of the Year three times, been named one of the 15 greatest coaches in NBA history and has also been inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Popovich now has 1,366 wins in the regular season. More than any other coach in league history (he surpassed Don Nelson last year). Coach Pop also has a record streak of 22 consecutive seasons in which his Spurs have had a win-loss record.

This summer, the specialist extended his contract with the franchise for five years and a minimum of $80 million, making him the highest-paid coach in the NBA at the moment.

Before their first full season, San Antonio won the draft lottery and selected the legendary Tim Duncan with the first pick in the draft. This year, history repeats itself: the Spurs were luckier than others in the lottery and now have one of the most sought-after prospects in recent years on their roster: Victor Vembanyama.

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September 23, 2023 9:26 am