When Minnesota played Dallas on Tuesday night, there was a more interesting storyline beneath the Mavericks comeback and the Timberwolves meltdown. On either bench sat former Celtics teammates Kevin McHale and Rick Carlisle, currently head coaches of their respective squads.
Now certainly former teammates have faced off with one another on the bench before, but the fact that both McHale and Carlisle were members of Boston’s 1985-86 championship team is what’s intriguing. I don’t know what head coach K.C. Jones was preaching, but a Celtics squad that finished with a record of 67-15 and an NBA title was listening.
In addition to McHale and Carlisle, Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson and Sam Vincent have all drawn the X’s and O’s for an NBA team.
“That was a team that had a bunch of guys that really knew how to play basketball,” McHale said. “Later on in my career, when you had new guys come in, you realized how blessed you really were. Because you’d say, ‘Hey, let’s change this coverage,’ and they’d look at you like, ‘What?’ And you’d say, ‘Oh, boy.’”
The list doesn’t stop there. Although they were never at the helm of an NBA squad, Jerry Sichting is currently an assistant alongside McHale for the Timberwolves and was once an assistant for Marquette; and Scott Wedman has coached in both the ABA and CBA. Also, while Robert Parish has never officially coached, he remains active as a consultant and mentor for the Celtics.
That leaves you with the legendary Bill Walton, David Thirdkill, Greg Kite and Sly Williams. Not bad.
Will there ever be another team with so many NBA coaches?
Source: Pioneer Press