Mark Jackson was named Warriors’ head coach because “his leadership skills as a player more than outweighed his lack of coaching experience” and according to Sam Amick from SI.com:
Golden State’s future looking bright with the addition of Jackson.
What’s more, here’s another IMHO noteworthy quote:
“Sources said West was instrumental in the hiring, as he had made it clear he wasn’t looking for a ‘retread’ coach and that he preferred candidates who played the game professionally. That background and his national television spot clearly give Jackson credibility among the game’s modern-day players and could perhaps come in handy during free agency”
Is a long career as a player and huge bank of TV clichés enough for a coaching job in the NBA?
I mean no disrespect but if the answer is “no”, Jackson will fail, if “yes” what would it say to us about this job?
Well, we would rehash old topic about stat geeks and coaches and deck chairs.
On one hand I’ve heard a lot of complaints among fans that teams recycle the same coaches over and over, on the other hand I found it fascinating that there’s a highly paid job which requires no similar experience so I’ve decided to explore history for another examples of NBA coaches without coaching experience…
Thanks to basketball-reference.com we have a full list of coaches employed by the NBA but to cut this project into reasonable time I’ve decided to look only at coaches who coached in the last 10 years [exactly 100!] and who had no previous coaching experience either as an assistant or at other basketball levels. Here’s the full list:
|Coach||From||To||Yrs||Gms||W-L%||First Job||Team’s W% Year Before||First Season||Additional information|
|Lenny Wilkens||1970||2005||32||2487||0,536||SEA||0,369||0,439||Started as Player-Coach|
|Don Nelson||1977||2010||31||2398||0,557||MIL||0,463||0,422||SG as a player|
|Doc Rivers||2000||2011||12||913||0,555||ORL||0,66||0,5||What did he do
between 1996 and 99?
|Scott Skiles||2000||2011||11||778||0,509||PHO||0,54||0,645||Assistant for only 20 games before midseason change|
|Isiah Thomas||2001||2008||5||410||0,456||IND||0,683||0,5||Had front office job|
|Dan Issel||1993||2002||6||388||0,464||DEN||0,297||0,439||Forward as a player|
|Vinny Del Negro||2009||2011||3||246||0,463||CHI||0,4||0,5||Most recent and
most similar example?
|Kevin McHale||2005||2009||2||94||0,415||MIN||0,71||0,613||Had front office job,
|Kiki Vandeweghe||2010||2010||1||64||0,188||NJN||0,42||0,1875||Had front office job,
|Kevin Pritchard||2005||2005||1||27||0,185||POR||0,5||0,185||Had front office job,
Even if we exclude interim coaches teams going that unconventional route could get someone below average or… one of most accomplished coaches in the history [in terms of games coached and total wins].
So which group will Marc Jackson join?
Warriors have young team, some room under cap space and some of their players badly underperformed last season because of injuries [Curry, Lee and Biedrins] so my guess would be surprisingly… the latter.
P.S. I have to mention that both Wilkens and Rivers tasted first success at their second coaching job…