Has there ever been better coaching in the NBA? It’s certainly a subjective point of view, but I feel like there are great coaches top to bottom in the NBA. Even the bad teams, the ones rebuilding and struggling to get to the playoffs seem like they have the right people in charge. They are tough to beat, they run good stuff, it seems like they are getting the most out of their talent. Maybe I wasn’t paying close attention, but I don’t remember the NBA ever having better coaches.
Look at the list of current NBA coaches. It’s interesting to see who the NBA is hiring these days. There are 14 NBA head coaches right now who never played in the league:
Stan Van Gundy
That is a pretty impressive list of coaches. It seems like a few years back the NBA started hiring smart people who were qualified coaches, instead of just going with former players and well-known names. Instead of the splash hire they started moving towards the smart hire. Most people never heard of Tom Thibodeau or Mike Budenholzer when they get hired, but they’ve proven they can run an NBA organization and be successful.
Again, this isn’t exactly a scientific study, but I look at that list above and it’s filled with some tremendous coaches. A lot of them are guys who were long-time NBA assistants who didn’t really have a name, but worked their way through the league and got a chance to be a head coach. It seems to me that if you hire smart people – for any job – you’ve got a chance to be successful. The coaching business isn’t really much different. So often the hires in coaching are based on factors that really don’t connect to the leadership necessary to do the job.
The other interesting thing to note about NBA coaches – of the 30 coaches in the league right now, only 6 of them actually had their job in 2012. 6 of them. That is amazing to think about.