|Lenny Wilkens in 2004 as a coach for the New York Knicks.|
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Lenny Wilkens Sets NBA Record
On March 1, 1996, NBA head coach Lenny Wilkens becomes the first coach in NBA history to record 1,000 regular season NBA victories. Wilkens would go on compile 1,332 wins and be the winningest coach of all time until the 2009-2010 season, when former Golden State Warriors head coach Don Nelson would pass him with 1,335.
After 30 seasons as an NBA head coach, Wilkens left the bench with his last stop being the Toronto Raptors in the 2002-2003 season. He would come back in the 2004-2005 season to coach the New York Knicks, but after a slow start, would retire from the team on Jan. 22, 2005.
Wilkens, had coached 2,046 regular season games, 164 playoff games, and four NBA All-Star games, making him the only head coach in NBA history with more than 2,000 games under his belt.
Wilkens trailed only Major League Baseball’s, Connie Mack, 53 years, John McGraw 33 years, National Football League’s George Halas, 40 years, Curly Lambeau, 33 years, and Don Shula, 33 years, for the longest tenure as a head coach in a major professional sports league.