Sunday 17th December 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

Which Current Players Would Make the Best Player-Coaches?

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?

Derek Fisher

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.

Chris Paul

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.

Tim Duncan

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.

Steve Nash

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.

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  • Luckily you suggested it for me. I was going to say Derek Fisher before I saw what options you gave on Facebook. W/O a doubt!

  • Thibodeau, Heinsohn and Doc have been saying for years Brian Scalabrine would make a great NBA coach one day….Now only if he could fulfill the player part.

  • Congratulations, this post has been nominated for “Most Innovative Post” Award for “The First Annual Basketball Bloggers’ Awards” hosted on my site sometime in late February, early March.

    Your site is also under consideration for the final list of nominees for “Best Overall Blog.”

    I hate to nitpick such a great article, but I was hoping you could expand the article a bit (maybe write why Andre Miller, Ray Allen and Chauncey Billups would make great player-coaches. And, as a Celtics fan, I must ask you to put into consideration Brian Scalabrine. Although, I am not sure he qualifies for the player part of player-coach.)

    Keep up the good work and I will let you know the other nominees when the list is finalized!