NBA / Jan 2, 2009 / 2:21 pm

The 1985-86 Celtics Bred Coaches

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

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  • Caribballin

    gotta love the GMC truck

  • Rich

    1988-89 Pistons:

    Isiah Thomas (Head Coach Pacers,Coach/GM Knicks)
    Joe Dumars (GM Pistons)
    Bill Laimbeer (Head Coach/GM WNBA Shock)
    Rick Mahorn (Asst Coach Hawks, WNBA Shock)
    Mark Aguirre (Asst Coach Pacers/Knicks)
    Adrian Dantley (Asst Coach Nuggets)

  • I don’t see that kind of thing happening again… or at least not any time soon. I don’t feel like people study the game like they used to. Especially like those Boston teams. If anything did come close to that, it would be a college team… like Duke. A program with a tradition of playing high IQ basketball. Great coaches like Coach K develope into a mentor and not just a coach. Players sort of want to be like them.

  • wanabballer

    lol WNBA coaches shouldn’t count…

  • CitizenB

    How about former Riley players:

    Byron Scott- LA
    Doc Rivers- NY
    Terry Porter- Mia

  • CitizenB

    Patrick Ewing- NY (Assistant)
    Keith Askins- Mia (Assistant)

  • srb

    larry’s pants in this picture are fly sho nuff

  • Jim

    As the posters above me aptly proved, no, that won’t happen again.

    One problem though: that bunch of many coaches has many many seasons under its belt, with just one Finals appearance, if I am right. Carlisle, and to a lesser extent Ainge, were good but it never lead to a whole lot of postseason success.

    I am glad to see Celts Fan riding between his parents though.

  • marcus

    “gotta love the GMC truck”



    Larry is a pimp!

  • vinny

    they might have become coaches-but there werent all that great as coaches!! Larry Legend was a good coach. Ainge got a towel thrown in his face,lol.

  • http://www.womenshoops.blogspot.com/ Helen

    lol WNBA coaches shouldn’t count…

    LOL – fortunately wannabe comments don’t count… Coop and Bill are doing just fine without yahoos like you. Enjoy the nba yawn fest, y’all… Celtics rule!

  • SteveNash

    Larry Birds pants are Legend

  • SteveNash

    the lady in front looks like she is having a great time…

  • jzsmoove

    does anyone know if this is the same david thirdkill that played in the PBA for Tanduay before? i remember him as a kid, he used to torch the best locals. awesome international talent at the time.

  • A. Winthrop

    1980 Sixers: Doug Collins, Mo Cheeks and Lionel Hollins were all NBA coaches. Plus, Al Skinner, current Boston College coach.


  • derf

    Yes jzsmoove, he is the same David Thirdkill who played in the Philippines. Awesome guy. but just a role player in the NBA.

  • Paul

    1984-85 Lakers
    Magic Johnson (former NBA head coach)
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (former NBA assistant coach)
    Byron Scott (former NBA assistant coach, current head coach)
    Bob McAdoo (current NBA assistant coach)
    Michael Cooper (former assistant and head coach in BOTH NBA and WNBA)
    Mitch Kupchak (current NBA GM)
    Kurt Rambis (current NBA assistant and former NBA head coach)

  • Paul

    1984-85 Lakers
    Ronnie Lester (at one time was assistant GM in NBA, not sure if that’s still the case)

  • http://dimemag.com/ Aron

    Good work fellas. I still think the Celtics record won’t be broken.

    What about for current teams? Any squad with insane coaching talent?

  • lombuck

    You forgot to mention the late Dennis Johnson in the list.