All the talent in the world won't win you an NBA title unless you have the right man guiding the ship.
As the 2016-17 season gets ready to begin, we take a look at the league's 10 best head coaches, and used a combination of success, experience and overall reputation to put the rankings in place.
Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
When the Celtics hired Brad Stevens in the summer of 2013, they gave him a contract that was guaranteed for six years. That's longer than most retread candidates get, and it was unprecedented for a 36-year-old who hadn't yet acquired any NBA experience.
The move was an extremely smart one, however, because it gave Stevens the opportunity to establish a culture, while making sure the players knew that he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Stevens has rewarded the franchise by showing improvement in consecutive years, and guided Boston to 48 wins and a playoff berth last season without having a superstar on the roster.
Tyronn Lue, Cleveland Cavaliers
Before taking over for David Blatt as head coach of the Cavaliers in the middle of last season, Ty Lue was known as the guy Allen Iverson stepped over in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals.
Now that Lue has guided the Cavaliers to their first championship in franchise history, he can finally be known for something else.
In addition to playing 11 NBA seasons, Lue paid his dues as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers in both Boston and Los Angeles, and was the associate head coach under Blatt the season before taking over.
Managing egos and getting the most out of the talent on the roster is as important as Xs and Os in the NBA, and Lue did all of it better than anyone last season.
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Frank Vogel, Orlando Magic
Frank Vogel joined the Orlando Magic this summer, once Pacers GM Larry Bird decided it was time for a change after Vogel's six years patrolling the Indiana sidelines.
Vogel guided the Pacers to consecutive Eastern Conference finals appearances in 2013 and 2014, and then got the team back to the playoffs last season with a healthy Paul George and not much else.
The Magic have an odd roster after a summer full of trades and free-agent acquisitions, but Vogel has shown he's more than capable of making the pieces fit.
Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons
Stan Van Gundy may have the most interesting experiences of anyone on this list. After becoming head coach of the Miami Heat in 2003, he guided the team to 42 wins and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. The following year, his team won 59 games and took the Pistons to seven in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Here's where it gets weird: Miami got off to a slower-than-expected 11-10 start in 2005-06, and team president Pat Riley started to panic -- so much so that he came out of the front office to coach the team the rest of the way. His decision paid off, as Miami ended 2006 with its first-ever NBA title.
Van Gundy went on to coach in Orlando, and guided the Magic to a Finals appearance in 2009. But he was forced to deal with Dwight Howard's exit from the franchise, which resulted in one of the most awkward press conferences of all time.
Van Gundy is currently president and head coach of the Pistons, and guided Detroit to a 44-win season and a playoff berth in his second year in charge.
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Dwane Casey has been the head man in Toronto for the past five years, and the team's win total has improved every season.
The Raptors experienced their most successful season in franchise history under Casey, finishing 2016 with the second-best record in the East and a conference finals appearance against LeBron James and the Cavaliers that Cleveland won in six.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY SportsJeremy Brevard
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
Erik Spoelstra took over for Pat Riley as Heat head coach in 2008, and has had the job in Miami ever since.
He guided the Heat to four straight Finals appearances while LeBron James was there from 2011-14, and won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
After a brief step back in 2015, Spo had the Heat right back in the playoffs following a 48-win regular season.
Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota Timberwolves
Tom Thibodeau spent 20 years as an assistant coach in the NBA before finally getting his shot with the Bulls in 2010, and responded by guiding them to the best record in the league and an appearance in the Eastern Conference finals.
Thibodeau was the "defensive coordinator" under Doc Rivers on a Celtics team that won the title in 2008, and is known for his ability to get maximum effort from his players on the defensive end during nearly every possession.
Thibodeau was ousted in Chicago after five seasons, but is now the president and head coach of a young Timberwolves team that ranked just 27th in the league defensively last year. Something tells us that will change significantly in 2017.
NBAE/Getty ImagesDavid Sherman
Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks
Rick Carlisle has been employed as an NBA head coach for the past 14 seasons, and has spent the past eight with the Dallas Mavericks.
He guided the Indiana Pacers to the best record in the league in 2004 before losing to the eventual champion Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals, and led the Mavericks to a championship in 2011.
But what impresses us the most about Carlisle is his ability to win despite an ever-changing roster. Dirk Nowitzki has been the constant in Dallas, but the key pieces around him change every summer thanks to Mark Cuban's tinkering, and Carlisle still finds a way to win no matter the talent he's given.
Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Steve Kerr has been the head coach of the Warriors for only two seasons, but no one in history has had as much immediate success.
Golden State won 51 games the year before he took over, but Kerr got that number to jump to 67 while winning a championship in his first season on the job.
The Warriors then won an NBA record 73 regular-season games last year, and came within one game of repeating as champions. It's crazy to think what he might be able to do this year now that Kevin Durant has been added to the roster.
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
No head coach in NBA history has had as much sustained success as Gregg Popovich has had with the San Antonio Spurs, and that made him the easy (and only) choice to top this list.
The Spurs have won at least 50 games for an incredible 17 straight seasons -- think about that for a moment, and you'll realize how truly remarkable that is. San Antonio has won five championships in six NBA Finals appearances during Popovich's 20-year reign, and the Spurs have done it with an understated class that he created with the Spurs organization.
It's unclear how much longer the 67-year-old Popovich will stick around now that Tim Duncan has retired, but there's no question he'll be considered the best active coach in the game as long as he chooses to stay.