Lenny Wilkins coached 32 NBA seasons and compiled a 1,332-1,155 regular-season record over his career, ranking second on the all-time wins list. So it’s no surprise that he was named one of the Association’s top 15 coaches to ever do it. He holds NBA records for seasons coached and regular-season games coached.
Wilkins was the first NBA coach to win 1,000 regular-season games and guided the Seattle SuperSonics to the NBA championship in 1978-79. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 1993-94 with the Atlanta Hawks and served as a head coach in the NBA All-Star Game four different times, once during his time in Atlanta, where he coached from 1993-2000.
Wilkins was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach. He will always be considered one of the greatest coaches of all time, but his career as a player can stack up against pretty much anyone.
Wilkins was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player. He’s actually been inducted in the Hall three different times, first in 1989 as a player, as a coach in 1998, and in 2010 as part of the 1992 USA Olympic Dream Team, for which he was an assistant coach.
Wilkins was drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Hawks in 1960 and spent the first eight seasons of his career there. He led the Hawks to the Finals his rookie season, but they lost to the Boston Celtics. Wilkins consistently led the Hawks to the playoffs but never reached the Finals again. During his last season with the Hawks, Wilkins finished second to Wilt Chamberlain in the 1967-68 MVP balloting.
Congratulations on a well-deserved honor!