Having stars on the floor is a great way to achieve success in the NBA, but boasting an elite coach is just as essential.
There are only about a handful of said coaches roaming the baselines in the league, but those tacticians earn a sizable salary for their duties.
Here’s a look at who the highest-paid coaches are in the NBA:
Who are the highest-paid coaches in the NBA?
Unlike salaries of NBA players, staff salaries aren’t as widely reported or available. In 2021, Sportico published a list of the highest-paid coaches in U.S. sports, and seven of them were in the NBA.
These are those seven coaches ranked by their salary:
1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs: $11.5 million
Coach Pop starts this list, and deservedly so. He’s one of the most successful coaches of all-time, having won five NBA titles, three Coach of the Year awards and helped the Spurs to 22 consecutive playoff berths from 1998 to 2019.
2. Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors: $9.5 million
Kerr has also been cementing his legacy as a coach in the NBA following his successful playing career. Since joining the Warriors as head coach in 2014, he’s helped lead the team to four NBA titles and was named Coach of the Year in 2016.
T-3. Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers: $8.5 million
Rivers was head coach of the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers before joining the 76ers in 2020. He won a title with Boston in 2008 and was named Coach of the Year with Orlando in 2000.
T-3. Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat: $8.5 million
Spoelstra started off as a video coordinator with Miami in 1995, which puts together clips to provide the coaching staff to better scout upcoming opponents. In 2008, the Heat made him their head coach, which so far has led to titles in 2012 and 2013.
T-5. Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks: $8 million
One of Popovich’s disciples, Budenholzer’s first head-coaching gig was with the Atlanta Hawks from 2013 to 2018 when the Bucks picked him up. He helped the team to its second ever NBA title in 2021 and has been named Coach of the Year twice (2015, 2019).
T-5. Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors: $8 million
Nurse started off as an assistant coach with Northern Iowa in 1889 before moving to England to play with the Derby Rams for a season. The next year, he became a player-coach with Derby before bouncing around several coaching gigs until entering the NBA via the then-D League in 2007. He became head coach of the Raptors in 2019 following six years as an assistant and helped the franchise to its first ever title in his debut year.
T-5. Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets: $8 million
Nash’s coaching resume is the shortest of the list, as he started in 2020 as the head coach of the Nets. It hasn’t been the steadiest of starts for the two-time NBA MVP and eight-time All-Star, but he’ll be hoping for an improved 2022-23 campaign.