New York Knicks: Five winningest head coaches in franchise history

New York Knicks Red Holzman (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Red Holzman (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
New York Knicks
New York Knicks Logo (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2. Joe Lapchick: 326

Joe Lapchick’s name won’t cross the casual New York Knicks fan, but he was one of their first head coaches, starting in 1948. He became the second person to hold this position, succeeding Neil Cohalan, who handled 60 games and a playoff appearance beforehand.

Lapchick made the playoffs in all but one season leading the Knicks. It never led to a championship, though a 47-win campaign accompanied him in the 1952-53 season.

Dick McGuire and Nat Clifton were just some of the earliest NBA players to play under Lapchick, who remained in place until the 1955-56 season.

Lapchick’s year-to-year success carried him to a career 326-247 record. While it’s the second-most losses in franchise history, the win total is also the second most. That likely stems from his run as the Knicks’ second-longest tenured coach, even 63 years later.

The Knicks have held short leashes on coaches over the years, or they leave before their forced departure. Plus, winning has not arrived often for this high-profile franchise, making what Lapchick did in the 1950s an achievement.