Plenty is made about ranking NBA coaches for what they do on the court or ranking the best players of all time. One thing that is often overlooked is how many players (great or not) end up coaching basketball at the highest level. Bill Russell won titles as a player and a coach, doing both at the same time. Larry Bird went on to a successful coaching career. Phil Jackson, considered by many to be the best coach of all time, won his first ring as a player for the New York Knicks in the 1970s.
Almost every coach in the NBA today has played basketball at the NBA level or at least college. So today, we will look at where each coach in the current NBA ranked as a player.
Which current NBA head coach had the greatest playing career?
For some of the coaches who had less than stellar playing careers, the bottom of this list will be much closer than many expect. Greatness on the court is not always equal to greatness on the sideline, as you will see quickly as we get into the rankings.