The LA Lakers have quite a long and interesting history as far as coaches are concerned. Many say that the success of the team depends heavily on a coaches ability to help a team stay organized and build a successful winning record.
Within 67 seasons the LA Lakers have had a total of 25 coaches. Out of the 25 LA Laker coaches 5 of them have won NBA titles. For example, John Kundla was a coach in the early days of the Lakers. John Kundla was acting coach from 1948-49 and then 1956-57.
Kundla successfully received 5 Championships during his tenure with the LA Lakers. He seemed to have a unique quality and ability to lead his team into a number of winning streaks. The 5 NBA titles that Kundla earned will certainly go down in LA Laker history.
John Castellani was acting coach for the Lakers throughout the 1959-60 season. Castellani had a reputation for instilling great team spirit within his players and helped players gain confidence in their ability to win through various practice sessions and good old team spirit.
Sharman was a talented basketball player as well as coach. Bill Sharman coached the LA Lakers from 1962-1970. Sharman was named “Hall of Fame” basketball player as well as coach. Sharman had over 30 consecutive wins while with the Lakers and he is still recognized today as being one of the best and most talented players and coaches in Laker history.
Sharman was elected to the “Naismith Memorial Baskeyball Hall of Fame” as a player in 1976. In addition, Sharman was an acting coach once again in 2004. Bill Sharman was named one of the best players of the NBA’s first 50 years. This talented coach lost his life to a massive stroke in 2013. This coach will best be remembered for leading the team NBA Championship in 1972.
Jerry West was a former LA Lakers player who eventually went on to become the teams head coach as well as general manager. West was ableto reach the NBA finals a total of nine times. In addition, Jerry West was the only coach to lead the Lakers to 3 consecutive victories 3 years in a row. His point guard and shooting guard abilities served West quite well as coach.
Pat Riley made a name for himself throughout the 1980‘s. Riley through his coaching efforts led the Lakers to 4 consecutive championships throughout a 5 year period in the mid 1980‘s.
Del Harris coached the LA Lakers for 5 seasons. Some of the Lakers best successes took place between 1994-1999. Die to the efforts of Del Harris each year one of their LA Lakers successfully went into the play-offs.
*Jackson: Possibly One of the greatest of all time:
Lakers coach Phil Jackson helped bring the Lakers to an astounding win in the 2000 Championship by beating the Indiana Pacers. In addition, Jackson also led the Lakers to two additional and well deserved titles in 2001 and 2002. The 2002 victory over the Philadelphia 76 ers was one of Jacksons greatest coaching successes.
Phil Jackson has an exceptional drive to succeed and brought great team spirit to all of his players. However after a successful playing and coaching career Jackson was forced to retire due to various injuries. In June 2004 an announcement was made that Phil Jackson would be leaving his position as the Lakers Head coach. Aside from injuries it seemed that Jckson was having issues with salary disputes.
There have been so many great players as well as coaches since the LA Lakers began to play back in the 1940’s. Many of the exceptional coaches will always be remembered for the skill, technique and ability to bring the team to a series of successful victories.