Rajon Rondo (Photograph credit score ought to learn JAVIER SORIANO/AFP through Getty Pictures)
There are a number of paths one can take to turning into an NBA head coach. Erik Spoelstra was a video coordinator who labored his approach up the ladder. Tom Thibodeau was a longtime assistant who proved his value till he bought his massive likelihood. Brad Stevens and Billy Donovan got here from the faculty ranks.
But one of the crucial common paths into the ranks of the coaches is as a former participant. 10 of the league’s 30 head coaches on the time of writing are former NBA gamers. From 2011 to 2021, ten seasons, 40 former gamers have been a head coach for some period of time.
Meaning wanting on the present rosters across the league might yield quite a few gamers who will sooner or later be head coaches. But how can we predict which gamers match the invoice? Just a few gamers is perhaps vocal about their wishes to educate, however for many we have to join the dots ourselves.
Trying again at these 40 former gamers, we see a number of tendencies. The obvious one is the place that they performed whereas within the league. 26 of the 40 (65 p.c) have been level guards or combo guards, a logical connection from working issues on the ground to working issues from the bench.
One other pattern is workforce success. 15 of the 30, 50 p.c, gained a title whereas a participant. One other handful have been on clear contenders who made it to the Finals however didn’t fairly break by means of. Taking part in for a workforce that noticed a excessive stage of success maybe taught these gamers lead a winner themselves, or proved that they knew overcome adversity and nonetheless accomplish the objective.
Particular person participant success didn’t appear to have a lot correlation; for each Steve Nash and Paul Westphal there was a Keith Sensible, who turned an NBA head coach after enjoying simply two video games in his profession. Solely 11 of the 40 (27.5 p.c) made an All-Star Recreation as a participant.
Utilizing these tendencies as guideposts, in addition to a number of extra logical ones (enjoying for a Corridor of Fame coach, preventing by means of adversity, and so forth) we are going to search to establish potential coaches from the sphere of lively (and really not too long ago retired) gamers. We’ll begin with some journeyman gamers and work our approach as much as the highest tier of perennial All-Stars. Listed here are the 30 gamers within the NBA who needs to be head coaches sooner or later.