Who makes a better head coach? Former NBA players or non-former NBA players?

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Who makes a better head coach in today's NBA?

Former NBA player
11
31%
Non-former NBA player
25
69%
 
Total votes: 36

contestedlayups
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Who makes a better head coach? Former NBA players or non-former NBA players? 

Post#1 » by contestedlayups » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:20 pm

Examples of former NBA players as head coaches:
Steve Kerr
Doc Rivers
Pat Riley
Phil Jackson

Non-former NBA players as head coaches:
Gregg Popovich
Brad Stevens
Erik Spolestra
Red Auerbach

Who makes a better head coach in today's NBA?
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#2 » by blind prophet » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:33 pm

Former player.

It doesn't have to be NBA level, but at least collegiate.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#3 » by The_Hater » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:34 pm

For a long time former players made the best NBA coaches. I don’t think players from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s respected coaches who never played in the league very much so it was difficult for those coaches to operate.

But I also believe this has completely changed in the last 5-10 years. If you want the respect of today’s NBA player, you need to be analytical and ahead of the curve. And most former players aren’t those types of coaches.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#4 » by AbeVigodaLive » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:37 pm

The list in the OP reveals that NBA players make great coaches... and non-NBA players make great coaches. So I don't think "former player or not" is the deciding factor whether a guy can be effective as a head coach in the NBA.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#5 » by walk with me » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:43 pm

How many former players have rings as coaches vs non players that have rings as coaches?
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#6 » by SlowPaced » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:46 pm

All non-former players listed played at the collegiate level.

There's no telling whether this is an important factor or not. I'd guess being an ex-NBA player is a plus in terms of man management though, with NBA players recognizing that you've also been there.

One strong correlation that persists, albeit with exceptions, is that non-star players make better coaches. It's probably because they 1) spend more time thinking about maximizing team performance due to their limited skill, 2) spend more time as an observer on the bench, 3) move teams more often (playing under different coaches)
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#7 » by CumberlandPosey » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:48 pm

red played at george washington.hard to make the nba when there was no major league back then.pops played too albeit for the air force.but you really cant quantify these two as non-players imo.spo played professionalyl in germany back in the nineties...
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#8 » by BBgun » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:53 pm

AbeVigodaLive wrote:The list in the OP reveals that NBA players make great coaches... and non-NBA players make great coaches. So I don't think "former player or not" is the deciding factor whether a guy can be effective as a head coach in the NBA.


Agree with this. In theory, former players obviously stand to make good head coaches but the question of WHICH former players make good head coaches is one that still perplexes a lot of front offices.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#9 » by tv24lakers » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:17 pm

By former player, are you accepting coaches that have at least played in college, or solely those with NBA credits?
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#10 » by Mogspan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:28 pm

Being a former player may help, but non-former players, not having that credential, have to get where they are through their coaching talent. Having been too good of a player may be hinderance. MJ is a trash GM (not quite the same as coaching, but he'd probably suck at that too), and LeBron has said that he doesn't have the patience to be a coach. Magic was an awful coach, and Kareem can't even get a shot. Larry Bird is the only great player who was also a good coach, I believe.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#11 » by Lalouie » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:23 pm

it makes sense that non players study the game more so maybe they're better TEACHERS, but the thing is,,,,IN GENERAL your bestest players don't want to coach

maybe there are more GOOD non-players who want to be coach than GOOD former players.

i think formers pros in any endeavor and job have more knowledge about the minutea, but they might not be patient or have good communicative skills
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#12 » by contestedlayups » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:25 pm

tv24lakers wrote:By former player, are you accepting coaches that have at least played in college, or solely those with NBA credits?


A former player must have played in the NBA.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former NBA players or non-former NBA players? 

Post#13 » by RakimAbdulJabar » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:39 pm

I'd put Lenny Wilkens and Doug Collins ahead of Rivers and Kerr as far as former NBA players turned coaches
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former NBA players or non-former NBA players? 

Post#14 » by Stillwater » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:44 pm

The only way a non former nba player turned coach gets respect is by winning at other levels and then earning respect from NBA players by winning at the NBA level and that almost always requires walking into the perfect situation.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#15 » by Warriorfan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:50 pm

Mogspan wrote:Being a former player may help, but non-former players, not having that credential, have to get where they are through their coaching talent. Having been too good of a player may be hinderance. MJ is a trash GM (not quite the same as coaching, but he'd probably suck at that too), and LeBron has said that he doesn't have the patience to be a coach. Magic was an awful coach, and Kareem can't even get a shot. Larry Bird is the only great player who was also a good coach, I believe.



Lenny Wilkins and Bill Russell.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former NBA players or non-former NBA players? 

Post#16 » by SkyHookFTW » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:26 pm

The following is a list of NBA coaches with at least five years coaching in the NBA and a win percentage of at least 60% during the regular season:

Steve Kerr
Phil Jackson
Billy Cunningham
Pat Riley
Gregg Popovich
Red Auerbach
Tom Heinsohn
K.C. Jones
Mike Brown
Lester Harrison
Jerry Sloan

Mike Brown and Jerry Sloan are the only ones who didn’t get a ring as a coach. All played in the NBA or college. Cunningham, however, is probably the only one who would get in the HoF based on his play on the court, with 21/10/4 (numbers rounded down) as his career stats.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former players or non-former players? 

Post#17 » by Mogspan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:40 am

Warriorfan wrote:
Mogspan wrote:Being a former player may help, but non-former players, not having that credential, have to get where they are through their coaching talent. Having been too good of a player may be hinderance. MJ is a trash GM (not quite the same as coaching, but he'd probably suck at that too), and LeBron has said that he doesn't have the patience to be a coach. Magic was an awful coach, and Kareem can't even get a shot. Larry Bird is the only great player who was also a good coach, I believe.



Lenny Wilkins and Bill Russell.


You're right. I remembered that Bill Russell was a player-coach after I made the post. Lenny Wilkins' coaching career I didn't know about, but a fun fact about him is that he is the player with the most All-Star selections (9) to never have been named to an All-NBA Team.
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Re: Who makes a better head coach? Former NBA players or non-former NBA players? 

Post#18 » by NBAFan93 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:58 am

Not playing in the NBA can mean that you just didn’t have the physical tools or talent. Doesn’t mean you don’t understand basketball. Don’t think it should ever be held against a coach that they weren’t able to make it to the NBA.

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