What Makes a Good Coach?

The Coaching Carousel Part II: Who\’s Next?


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

There has been much speculation as to who the Nets next Head Coach will be. Reports are now circulating that former all-Pro Point Guard, Jason Kidd, is next in line. Indiana Assistant and former Phil Jackson acolyte Brian Shaw is currently being interviewed.

Systems lead to dynasties – charismatic leaders don\’t necessarily. If a charismatic leader has a superior system, then charisma may help in some instances. Vince Lombardi was one example where it did. Gregg Popovich would probably be an example where it doesn\’t.

If you look at the NBA, most of the winners were names like Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach and Pat Riley with honorable mention to Gregg Popovich. Red Auerbach and Gregg Popovich were not superstar NBA players. Neither was Pat Riley or Phil Jackson.*

In fact, Phil Jackson was probably the most talented player of the bunch, a second round draft pick, that sat out with spinal surgery during the year that the Knicks won it all in \’69-\’70. He started some and had his moments, but was mostly a reserve for much of his career. Same, pretty much, for Pat Riley who was drafted in the first round and had a more or less undistinguished NBA playing career.

In fact, of all the former players that have ever coached, none has won more than two NBA championships. The all-time Celtics great Bill Russell accomplished it twice as a player-coach. His coaching stint with the Seattle Supersonics and Sacramento Kings after his playing career was over didn\’t \’cut it.\’

So there you have it. Playing success doesn\’t necessarily translate into tremendous coaching success. In fact, the more obscure coaches and players with something to prove have turned out to be the all time greats.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2013 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website.

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