NBA / Jun 11, 2010 / 4:15 pm

5 NBA Players Likely To Become Head Coaches

With Avery Johnson recently being hired by the Nets, and Mark Jackson in contention for the Hawks job, former NBA players continue to populate the coaching ranks. With this steady diet of former players becoming coaches, who are the next five NBA coaches who will be former NBA players? We break it down here:


Shane Battier is the NBA’s quintessential good guy. He is an incredibly smart player who plays the right way and does whatever his coach asks of him without ever questioning him. His fellow players all admire him, and he is the captain of the Rockets, a title he earned last year when he led the team to a seven-game series versus the Lakers despite playing without Yao and T-Mac. Battier was made to be an NBA head coach, and everybody knows it. He will be a highly sought after commodity in a few years.


Kobe Bryant recently said that Derek Fisher is the only player on the Lakers who he listens to. That speaks volumes about Fisher’s work ethic and attitude toward the game. He is the ultimate competitor who has a knack for coming up clutch. He is a natural leader at the point guard position and has proven to be a stabilizing force for the Lakers over the years. Phil Jackson has also shown how much trust he has in Fisher by refusing to bench him despite people saying that he is washed up. Fisher will make a great coach one day because he inspires trust in people, and has earned the respect of everyone he has ever played with.


Grant Hill nearly had his career upended by an ankle injury which cost him a lot of his prime in the 2000’s. He has rebounded nicely with the Suns for the past few seasons, and his second career and time off have made him wiser and more appreciative of the game. Hill goes hard every night, and like Battier, does what his coach asks of him – which is surprising considering superstar status early in his career. As you’ve seen in Phoenix, he was more than willing to become the Suns’ defensive stopper. A good guy, with a Duke background, Hill has what it takes to be an effective NBA head coach.


Trenton Hassell is the consummate professional. He has bounced around in his career but fulfilled his role wherever he has gone. Last year, while playing for the dismal Nets, Hassell would frequently go from starting one game to being benched the next three. It was a season of up-and-downs, not just for him but the entire team, yet he never complained and never requested a trade. He is like Avery Johnson, a guy from a small school who has stuck in the NBA, and his professionalism throughout his career certainly has caught the attention of people around the League.


Kurt Thomas has served as a mentor to players wherever he has gone. The past few seasons he has provided veteran leadership to the Sonics, Spurs, and this past season to the Bucks. Wherever he goes, he is immediately one of the leaders of the team, and this leadership and the tendency for younger guys to look up to him will translate well for Thomas when he decides to hang up his shoes.

What do you think? What current NBA players would make great coaches?

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  • Chilirey

    i would prefer D-Fish do the Lakers TV play by play, currectly have Joel Meyers & he SUCKS!

  • sh!tfaced

    Jason Kidd might be a good coach, just don’t piss him off or he’ll throw fries at your face.

  • spindlest

    What about Luke Walton? The only reason the Lakers keep him around is because he knows the triangle so well and, when he was injured, I always saw him talking to the assistant coaches and taking notes.


    whats dirty fisher gonna do? teach young players how to flop, ‘fish’ for a foul instead of working for a shot, play dirty and cry on live tv?

  • 808

    “whats dirty fisher gonna do? teach young players how to flop, ‘fish’ for a foul instead of working for a shot, play dirty and cry on live tv?”

    yes…and also how to help a team win 4 championship rings……


  • davester

    I think Steve Nash is going to be a great NBA Coach too.

  • Kenneth

    Did you notice that this list is full of light-skinned black guys? It’s interesting because they are probably half-white and half black, which means they had to deal with the trials of living in two cultures, which made them mature. Also, their parents were probably intelligent and open-minded individuals, which aided in these guys’ great, mature personalities.


    “yes…and also how to help a team win 4 championship rings……”

    you said it. 4 rings. just 4 rings. not 5. 4.



  • Delacratic


    Your comment is baffling, inaccurate and completely ignorant. Of the five, Shane Battier is the only man who is a product of an interracial marriage. But more importantly, why would you cite complexion as an indicator of one’s maturity (and even intelligence)? It’s 2010. Not 1810.

    Wake Up.

  • mle

    needs a combination of being able to influence other players (authority + likeability), high basketball IQ and patience.

    can’t see jason kidd being liked by everybody. i think kobe has the highest basketball IQs around, and is willing to get better and better if he was a coach, but not many people would like him.

    championship experience is good too. i hear brian shaw is an eager assistant coach on the lakers.

    tim duncan would probably be a great assistant coach, if not head coach. chauncey billups?

    i think players that are in the league not because of their athletic abilities, but just because of their fundamentals. steve nash would probably be insane, actually he would probably be an interesting commentator.

  • zmafuel

    Dirty Kurty!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • j

    how about ron artest as a head coach? that would be the most entertaining thing ever.

    i think chauncey would make a good coach. I could see his teams being really effective offensively, and definately kidd. I think Jason Kidd would be similar to Nate McMillan, just with more emotion

  • Daniel Marks

    Kidd would be a smart head coach, but I think he has burned some bridges in the NBA particularly after giving up on the Nets. Also Bryant is an incredibly smart basketball player but he has a tendency to throw his teammates under the bus when things don’t go his way, which is not a quality you’d like a head coach to have. Luke Walton certainly could have been on this list, his BBall IQ is exceptionally high and he makes the right play almost all the time.

  • jay

    i see ghill as more an analyst type but that is just me…maybe i am wrong. he is articulate enough to be an announcer as well!

  • Dan

    Hassell is a dark guy. I’ve been right near him many times.

  • Daniel Marks


    Hill could definately be an announcer as well, that is the reason you see so many former coaches become NBA analysts (Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Doug Collins, Mike Fratello, etc) because their knowledge of the game can be used as a coach or announcer, alot of times the skills required for both positions overlap quite a bit

  • aman

    what about kevin ollie? dude gets paid just to mentor derek rose.

  • bsteezy3

    What about Lil’ Dunleavy? Coby Karl? Don’t forget all these sons of coaches…

  • Caderade

    I’d rather see Nash as a commentator than a coach. He’s hilarious. How about Matt Harpring?

  • KennySeagle, Emperor of the North


    wut about sheed????

    ANY QUESTIONS???????

  • http://www.hypebball.com Sam Raphael Chadwick

    I think Dirk once his career is over may go back to Germany and become a head coach. Maybe in the NBA he could be a coach but I dunno the players might not understand him.

  • Daniel Marks


    Ollie was going to be on this list for sure but it turned out he has verbally agreed to accept an assistant coaching position at UCONN