In the 1960s and 70s it was not rare to see NBA players working double duty as both player and head coach (with a staff of assistants of course) for their respective teams. One of the most famous player coaches of all-time was Bill Russell, arguably the best player the game has ever seen.
The last player-coach was Dave Cowens for the 1979 Boston Celtics. Naturally, not all current players have what it takes to coach a team while playing for one at the same time. Honestly, most probably don’t. With that being said, some players in the league today could absolutely do it. So, which current NBA players have what it takes to be player-coaches?
Many people believe Fisher is destined to be a coach one day. Fisher has the leadership abilities and championship experience to be an exceptional coach. Obviously, Fisher couldn’t do it on his current Lakers team, with Phil Jackson leading the team. However, if Fisher was to land on a younger team later in his career, I believe he could do it with much success.
Paul is the one of the best point guards in the game today. In addition, his teammates in New Orleans have always seemed to genuinely respect him as both a person and player. Paul’s character and world class talent make him a great candidate for a player-coach.
Duncan would make a fabulous player- coach. Duncan’s knack for fundamentals, championship experience, and everything he has soaked up from coach Popovich throughout his career would make Timmy a stellar player-coach.
Much like Chris Paul, Nash is very well respected by his peers on and off the court. I can only imagine some of the offense schemes Nash would draw up in the huddle as a coach, and run to perfection as the team’s point guard.
Other Candidates: Chauncey Billups, Ray Allen, and Andre Miller
While it is unlikely we will ever see a player-coach in the NBA again, things could change under the right circumstances. Until then, we can always imagine the possibilities. Which current players do you believe could work as player-coaches?
Joshua Sexton is a lifelong basketball fanatic, who watches as many games as possible. In addition, He has played and coached the game at the high school level. He has recently started writing about the game of basketball.