Not all NBA coaches make the grade

BY foxsports • October 9, 2009

It's universally acknowledged that the NBA is a players' league. Even so, because of the smaller rosters, NBA coaches can have a greater influence on their players than the coaches in MLB and the NFL.

Here, then, is a rundown on the comparative and ultimate value of each of the NBA's coaches.

A-plus coaches

Phil Jackson (Lakers) is the best of the best. It's silly to suggest that his successes are totally due to having superstars on his teams. In truth, every NBA championship team — from Joe Fulks to Kobe, from George Mikan to Shaq, and so on — has featured at least one superstar player. Championship rings are never won by accident.

Gregg Popovich (Spurs) demands discipline and attention to detail and gets players to eagerly buy into his belief system.

A coaches

Nate McMillan is in the process of carefully developing the young Blazers into his own image. That's why all of his players are diligent workers and take full responsibility for their performances.

Jerry Sloan (Jazz) always gets the most out of his players and refuses to make any compromises to do so.


Rick Adelman (Rockets) is an excellent tactician who has the flexibility to make any group of players succeed.


Scott Brooks (Thunder) is a young coach who's growing along with his young players. He knows the game, and his enthusiasm is contagious.