NBA Coaches Ranked By Playing Careers (Including Earl Watson and Jeff Hornacek and not Ty Lue)

Count ‘em. 11. 11 current NBA coaches played ball in the NBA. Thank God I’m writing this after Jason Kidd was fired. It’s not fun when there’s a clear number 1 in anything. Along those same lines, I’ve included Earl Watson even though he was also fired. I can’t explain my reasoning. 

We’ll rank all the NBA head coaches based on the following measures: 

Seasons in the league. 

 

  • 0 points for 0 - 1 year in the league. 
  • 1 point for 2 - 4 years in the league. 
  • 3 points for 5 - 7 years in the league. 
  • 5 points for 7+ years int the league. 

Career PER (league average PER is 15, but most of these guys are below that, so we’re giving them credit for what they did do, not what they failed to do)

  • 0 points for 0 - 5
  • 1 point for 6 - 10 
  • 3 points for 10 - 13 
  • 5 points for 13-14
  • 7 points for 14+ 

All-Star appearances 

  • 1 point for each occurrence

 

All-NBA Accomplishment (All-NBA or All-Defensive) 

  • 1 point for each occurrence

League leader in category 

  • 1 point for each occurrence 

 

Career Win Shares 

  • 1 for 0 - 15
  • 3 for 16 - 30  
  • 5 for 31 - 45 
  • 7 for 46 - 60 
  • 9 for 61 - 80 
  • 13 for 81 - 100 
  • 15 for 100+ 

Note: I will be using the player’s assumed full name as to maintain professionalism. 


Billy Donovan

 

William John Donovan

I’m not going to say much. He played in 44 games in 1987-1988 for the Knicks, and I’m sure he regretted it. Also, it looks like he made his team worse, because he had a negative Win Shares during those 44 games. Confirming this, Little Billy had a -.05 VORP that season. He made his team worse in just 44 games. 

Seasons in league: 1
Points: 0 

Career PER: 8.7
Points: 5 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: -.1
Points: -1? 

Total points: 4

 


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Richard Carlisle

Wow. Ok. Not a lot to cover here. Rick started, count ‘em, exactly 1 game in his NBA career. That did not, however, happen during the year when Carlisle averaged a career high 2.8 points a game in 1987-1988. I’m sure he was really great locker room guy. 

 

Seasons in league: 5
Points: 3 

Career PER: 7
Points: 1 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: .5
Points: 1

Total points: 5

 


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Michael Damian Anthony

Mike D’Antoni finished his career as the Pringles mascot, and he joined the NBA Basketball League. Mike was Cleary more of a cerebral player, averaging no more than 4.8 points a game. Mike was a pretty good free throw shooter, though, shooting 73.5% for his career. His career highlight was probably when he was 3rd in the ABA in steal percentage. Mike is a much better coach, and we’re really proud of him. 

 

Seasons in league: 3.5
Points: 1

Career PER: 10.2
Points: 3 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: 2
Points: 1

Total points: 5

 


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Earl Watson

Early played for almost every team in the NBA, specifically, the Sonics, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Thunder, Pacers, Jazz, and Trail Blazers. He accomplished all of this in just 12 seasons. Earl’s best season was in 07’-08’, when he averaged 10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 29.1 minutes per game.  Earl Watson’s career has a high similarity to that of J.J Barea, so now I sort or just view them as the exact same. 

 

Seasons in league: 12
Points: 5 

Career PER: 12.1
Points: 3 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: 19.2
Points: 3

Total points: 11 

 


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Lucas Walton

Did you know Luke Walton’s nickname was “Little Wheats”? That sounds like an off-brand cereal. 

Luke was in the NBA and started a good number of games with the Lakers in early to mid 2000’s. For 10 years, Luke played consistent bench minutes for LA and Cleveland, and in 2006-2007, played 33 minutes a game. That was Luke’s best season by any measure, and he avergaed 11.4 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. Luke did his part. 

 

Seasons in league: 10
Points: 5 


Career PER: 11.7
Points: 3 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: 13.5
Points: 5

Total points: 13

 


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Fredrick Hoiberg  

“Big Baller Fred” Fred Hoiberg played in the league for 10 years, and even started 37 games for the 00-01 Bulls. Though he didn’t shoot the ball much, Hoiberg made shots. He shot 39% from 3 for his career, and even had 2 seasons in Minnesota where he shot 44% and 48%, the latter leading the league in 3 point percentage.

Seasons in league: 10
Points: 5 

Career PER: 13.7
Points: 5 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 1
Points: 1 

Win Shares: 27.6
Points: 3

Total points: 14


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Scott William ‘Wonderdog’ Brooks

Ol’ “Wonderdog” Brooks was probably a better player than he was a coach. That’s not saying much. Brooks was an undersized PG who played 10 seasons in the league for Houston, Minnesota, New York, Dallas, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Brooks started 7 games his whole career. He wasn’t that good. 

 

Seasons in league: 10
Points: 5 

Career PER: 14.5
Points: 7 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: 23.5
Points: 3

Total points: 15

 


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Nathaniel McMillan

Nate Boy was s great ball player, and he’s especially good when using the historic Sonics teams in 2K. Nate was a very effective role player for Seattle for 12 years. Even though he was never a permanent starter, McMillan averaged high assist, steals, and rebound numbers given the the minutes he played. McMillan’s per36 numbers are noteworthy, with his best season having him average 8.2 points, 10.7 assists, and 6 rebounds. Nate had fast hands like his teammate Gary Payton, twice leading the league in steal percentage. For such heroics, Nate was given the honor of being named and All-NBA Defensive team member twice. 

 

Seasons in league: 12
Points: 5 

Career PER: 14.5
Points: 7 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 2
Points: 2 

League Leader: 0
Points: 0 

Win Shares: 50.2
Points: 7

Total points: 21

 


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Steven Kerr

“Bayside Babehunter” Steve Kerr was a fixture on 5 NBA Championship teams. That’s a whole lot. Kerr won 3 titles with the Bulls and 2 with San Antonio. Kerry only started 30 games in his 15 year career, but found ways to flourish. Like Hoiberg, Kerr was an elite shooter who didn’t shoot the ball very much from 3 point range. Perhaps his greatest attribute was his dependability. Kerr almost never turned the ball over, once leading the league in turnover percentage (having the lowest percentage). 

Seasons in league: 15
Points: 5 

Career PER: 13.1
Points: 5 

All-Star appearances: 0
Points: 0 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 5
Points: 5 

Win Shares: 47.2
Points: 7

Total points: 22


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Doctor Rivers

Doc Rivers was a solid and dependable NBA player for 13 years. Doc is most remembered for being the starting point guard of the Atlanta Hawks for the better part of the 80’s and early 90’s. Doc was an All-Star in 87’-88’, and was just about as dependable as they come. Doc averaged between 10 and 15 points a game for 8 years in a row, while only missing 10% of his games during that span. Doc also got a pretty big number of steals. Sweet. 

Seasons in league: 13
Points: 5 

Career PER: 16.6
Points: 7 

All-Star appearances: 1
Points: 1 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 1
Points: 1

Win Shares: 68.2
Points: 9

Total points: 23

 


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Jeffrey Hornacek

Horny pretty much takes the cake here by a country mile. Horncek was a starting PG in the NBA for just about every season except his rookie year. For 13 seasons, Hornacek played big minutes, put up great percentages (career 40.3% from 3, 51.5% on 2’s, 87.7% from the FT line),  and great counting stats. Hornacek was an All-Star in 91’-92’. That year, he averaged 20.1/5/5.1. In his last season, slowing dying at the age of 36, he corageously led the league in FT% with an astonishing 95% from the line. 

Seasons in league: 13
Points: 5 

Career PER: 17.7
Points: 7 

All-Star appearances: 1
Points: 1 

All-NBA Recognition: 0
Points: 0 

League Leader: 1
Points: 1 

 

Win Shares: 108.9
Points: 15

Total points: 29 


Verdict

Congratulations to the recently fired Jeff Hornacek. 

Reid BelewCoaches