Sports

The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History 

Ranker Sports
April 17, 2017 151 votes 25 voters 33 items

List Rules Vote up the players who failed to score as coaches. Ranking is determined solely by their NBA coaching careers, not their careers as players.

Many of the greatest NBA players become coaches after retiring, but unfortunately, many of them turn out to be terrible basketball coaches. The same way a ring doesn't necessarily make a legend, having played basketball doesn't make you necessarily qualified to coach it. Regardless of their status as NBA champions, Hall of Fame inductees, or even MVPs, the league's best basketball players often struggle to win from court-side. Which NBA player should have left the locker room and taken a seat in the stands instead of back at the bench?

From 2000 to 2003, Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas coached the Indiana Pacers after Larry Bird (who was actually one of the best players-turned-coaches). Unlike Bird, Thomas failed to take his team past the first round of playoffs. Four-time NBA champion Kurt Rambis coached the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons before he was fired for his 32-132 record. Other notable good basketball players who became bad basketball coaches include Mark Jackson, Brian Winters, and Jason Kidd. Vote up the worst NBA players-turned-coaches and vote down the players who were actually decent coaches. Feel free to add any missing bad NBA coaches who used to be players.

list ordered by
1
Brian Winters is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

36 - 148 over three seasons.

2
Jason Kidd is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

160 - 168 over four seasons.

3
Marc Iavaroni is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

33 - 90 over two seasons.

4
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

51 - 100 over three seasons.

5
Kurt Rambis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

65 - 164 over four seasons.

6
Sidney Lowe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

79 - 228 over five seasons.

7
Randy Wittman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

278 - 406 over 10 seasons

8
Maurice Cheeks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

305 - 315 over nine seasons.

9
Mark Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

121 - 109 over three seasons.

10
Vinny Del Negro is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

210 - 184 over five seasons

11
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

202 - 345 over seven seasons.

12
Earl Watson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History
Earl Watson

33- 82 over two seasons.

13
Monty Williams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

173 - 221 over 

14
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

454 - 647 over 15 seasons.

15
Terry Porter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

99 - 116 over three seasons.

16
Lindsey Hunter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

12 - 29 in a single season.

17
Keith Smart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

93 - 170 over four seasons.

18
Mike Woodson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

315 - 365 over nine seasons.

19
John Kuester is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

57 - 107 over two seasons.

20
Jacque Vaughn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

58 - 158 over three seasons.

21
Brian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

56 - 

22
Kim Hughes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

8 - 25 in a single season.

23
Paul Silas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

387 - 488 over 

24
Reggie Theus is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

44 - 62 over two seasons.

25
Sam Vincent is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History

32 - 50 in a single season.