These 13 NBA players would excel as coaches

It is not uncommon for professional players to become coaches in their retirement. After all, who is better than a former baller to help guide and inspire young athletes along their paths? From breaking records and winning championships to learning how to work with other players and heed the advice of their own coaches, these athletes have what it takes to be at the helm of their own team.


Not every star player can become the best head coach, but on this list of 13 NBA players, REVOLT highlights some stars past and present who would make great NBA head coaches. Check out our round-up below.

1. Draymond Green

As combative and passionate that the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green is, he is equally as knowledgeable about the game. His basketball IQ is on full display if you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch him on “Inside The NBA” on TNT. Once Green’s career is over, he would be able to relay his championship acumen to the coaching ranks. You can tell, even now, how defensive minded of a coach he can become.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak was already an NBA champion long before he had the company of all-star point guard Damian Lillard. Being the focal point of the Milwaukee Bucks’ offense, he is virtually unstoppable at getting to the bucket. But his skills far surpass just what he can do with the ball. He is a playmaker as well as a defensive juggernaut. Antetokounmpo would most certainly be a natural fit as a head coach with the way he has revolutionized the power forward position.

3. Dennis Rodman

A multi-time rebounding champion, as well as defensive player of the year, Rodman has the game of basketball down to a science. If you’ve seen The Last Dance, you know that the legend was locked in so much that he could predict what direction the ball would bounce off of a miss based on the spin of the basketball. He is a person who sees the game uniquely and would be a benefit to any coaching staff.

4. Rajon Rondo

Typically, you’ll find that many point guards translate well into the coaching ranks. That’s usually because they tend to be extensions of the head coach. Insert two-time NBA champion Rajon Rondo. Having been at the helm of the NBA’s two most storied franchises, the star is already rumored to have coaching aspirations. The recently retired all-star is known for coaching up players on his team. He also understands the importance of getting everyone involved.

5. Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade is a hall of fame NBA champion. By his third year in the league, he became the NBA Finals MVP. He has excelled in starting roles and playing off the bench. Both experiences would assist Wade as a head coach. One of the most important qualities a coach can possess is being relatable. Wade would be able to relate to every player on the roster based off of his own career trajectory. Wouldn’t you want to be led by someone who has seen it all?

6. Kenny Smith

Kenny “The Jet” Smith’s knowledge of basketball is on display weekly on TNT’s “Inside The NBA .” Smith is a former point guard who won two championships with the Houston Rockets. He played alongside hall of fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. The perspective Smith comes from is one where a player is playing with great expectations. He knew what was demanded of him. As he breaks down games every Thursday night, it’s clear that he has enough of the stuff to quit his day job. Whether or not he actually does is another thing altogether.

7. Chris Paul

Chris Paul is known pretty much as the greatest floor general we’ve seen since Jason Kidd. It’s widely known that the most glaring achievement missing from his resume is a championship. But as he is still an active player, those dreams are still alive. Aside from that, Paul currently sits at third all-time in NBA assists. With someone with a vision like his, the baller understands what it means to get the most out of what he’s given to work with. What screams of a head coach more than that?

8. Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh certainly completes the “Big 3” of the Miami Heat on the court -- and on this list. Although to some, he may have been the lesser heralded member of “The Heatles,” Bosh, a supremely talented power forward as it was, took his talents to south beach and thrived. Once he understood how to best apply his skillset to his new squad, for a time, they became virtually unstoppable. Being a star player who is welcoming to change is such a huge proponent to success. It speaks volumes and is a great message to give to players.

9. Grant Hill

To die-hard NBA fans, Grant Hill was LeBron before LeBron. The Duke legend is a former Rookie of The Year who carved out a 19-year NBA career before calling it quits. Entering the league with much fanfare, Hill was a superstar talent. He was a perennial all-star who really got hit with the injury bug to his ankle. But Hill made the most of it and became a high-level role player for the remainder of his career. He’s now the managing director of the USA Men’s National Team, which means he has an eye for talent and how to put a team together.

10. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry plays the point guard position differently than probably anyone else. He, in his essence, is probably more of a combo guard. The champ isn’t always the initiator of the offense, but he regularly punctuates it. As the player who has made more three-point shots than any other in history, Curry understands his place. His ability to move without the ball, and his precise ball handling could provide amazing direction to a young point guard. And through that amazing play, he can coach up that guard to lead, as he has, through his play.

11. Walt “Clyde” Frazier

What makes Walt “Clyde” Frazier most unique is that he was an important player on the New York Knicks’ two championship teams. Those days of “when the garden was Eden” have been long gone and missed. Frazier calls Knicks games on MSG Networks, where he constantly breaks down plays from the position of a point guard. One of the principles of the game that he loves to remind us of is to not jump while passing the ball. It’s a sure way to cause a turnover. Had Frazier been a bit younger, we’re sure he would’ve made for a heck of a coach.

12. Kyrie Irving

How could “Uncle Drew” not make this list? Known unequivocally as the player with the greatest ball-handling skills of all-time, Irving is a champion who is virtually unstoppable. He understands what it means to perform in high pressure situations. The mental fortitude that the star brings to the game of basketball is something to behold, and any team would be better for having him prepare them for battle.

13. LeBron James

The only way LeBron James doesn’t end up as a head coach when his playing career is over is if he doesn’t want the job. He is famously known for probably being the greatest basketball mind to ever exist. The champ has been the leader on his basketball teams since he was in high school. Every team he has played on in the NBA has been built around his abilities. One of James’ greatest attributes is his skill of getting the most out of his teammates. He also knows the game like the back of his hand. There isn’t anyone more dedicated.

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