History of NBA Player-Turned-Coaches

Some of the best NBA coaches started as role players, not stars.

JJ Redick, a former solid player, is about to coach the Lakers and might have history on his side.

Out of the last 10 players who became coaches without experience, only Kerr, Kidd, and Rivers are still in the game.

Success Rates:

Redick’s chances stand at 30%. Let’s look at how other player-turned-coaches fared:

  • Steve Nash, Nets: 2020-23; 101-76
  • Derek Fisher, Knicks: 2014-16; 40-96
  • Steve Kerr, Warriors: 2014-24; 618-315
  • Jason Kidd, Nets: 2013-14; 49-47
  • Mark Jackson, Warriors: 2011-14; 130-119
    Fans might wonder if Redick can beat these odds.

Other notable names include:

  • Vinny Del Negro, Bulls: 2008-10; 86-90
  • Isiah Thomas, Pacers: 2000–03;136–125
  • Doc Rivers, Magic:1999–04;176–178
  • Larry Bird, Pacers:1997–00;179–87
  • M.L. Carr, Celtics:1995–97;48–116
  • Quinn Buckner, Mavericks:1993–94;13–69
  • Magic Johnson, Lakers:1993–94;5–11
  • Dan Issel Nuggets :1992 –95 ;106 –108
    Dick Van Arsdale Suns :1986 –87 ;14 –12
    -Paul Silas Clippers :1980 –83 ;78 –168

Many like Rivers, Kidd, Thomas, Silas and Del Negro coached other teams too. Issel even came back to coach the Nuggets again in ’99.

Only a few found lasting success like Kerr and Bird. Bird stopped coaching after losing to the Lakers in the NBA Finals of ’00.

Note that this list excludes those who were interim or assistant coaches before becoming head coaches.

What do you think? Can JJ Redick succeed?

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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