NBA The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time  

Blake Edwards
Originally by
4.4k votes 785 voters 22.3k views 85 items Embed

List Rules Only head coaches based on their time coaching (not playing).

The worst NBA coaches of all time are some of the worst basketball coaches to take the reins of professional basketball teams. They will always be remembered for their contributions to their individual teams but not for the championships and high winning percentages. Plain and simple, these worst National Basketball Association coaches set the bar for how not to coach professional basketball teams.

Similar to the worst NHL coaches of all time, many of these bad NBA coaches had stellar playing careers but when their playing days were over and they made the leap to coaching, things didn't go so well. Isiah Thomas had that exact experience. He had a record-setting career as a player with the Detroit Pistons but his experience as the President of Basketball Operations with the New York Knicks was far from positive.

For other bad NBA coaches, the records they set were for having the worst teams in the history of the league. Sidney Lowe for example tallied a .257 win percentage between his coaching stays with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Grizzlies in both Vancouver and Memphis. Bill Hanzlik was even worst when he won only 11 of 82 games with the Denver Nuggets in the 1997-98 season. Jim Todd however takes the cake with his 4-33 record coaching the Los Angeles Clippers in 1999-2000.

So for whatever reason, all of these worst NBA coaches of all time share one thing in common, at one point in their professional basketball coaching careers they absolutely stunk. But like the worst NFL coaches of all time, many have been given a reprieve and have since gone on to see success with other teams and even at other levels. If nothing else, that should show that if you're passionate about something, don't give up on it! It might not go so well in one situation, but that doesn't mean your next attempt will turn out the same way.
list ordered by

1
305 112
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Isiah Thomas Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks

2
128 69
Kurt Rambis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Kurt Rambis Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks

3
85 47
M. L. Carr is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
M. L. Carr Boston Celtics

4
82 46
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Cartwright Chicago Bulls

5
99 60
Tim Floyd is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Tim Floyd Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets

6
97 60
Sidney Lowe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Sidney Lowe Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies

7
66 35
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

8
74 47
Brian Winters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brian Winters Vancouver Grizzlies

9
54 33
Bill Blair is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Blair New Jersey Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves

10
57 35
John Kuester is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
John Kuester Detroit Pistons

11
110 83
Mike Brown is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Veggamattic added Mike Brown Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers

12
62 41
Gar Heard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Gar Heard Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards

13
48 31
Brian Hill is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brian Hill Orlando Magic, Vancouver Grizzlies

14
58 42
Bill Hanzlik is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Hanzlik Denver Nuggets

The Top NBA Players Of All Time

15
67 50
Vinny Del Negro is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

16
53 40
Dick Harter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

17
95 81
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
newhollowmusic added Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers

18
37 25
Gene Littles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

19
41 29
Brian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
aldridgee added Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

20
37 26
Matt Guokas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

21
50 39
Dick Vitale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
johnira added Dick Vitale

The Best Alcohol Brands

22
37 27
Lon Kruger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Lon Kruger Atlanta Hawks

23
35 26
Eric Musselman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

24
41 33
Marc Iavaroni is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

25
31 23
Earl Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

26
31 23
Jim Cleamons is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

27
39 32
Bob Weiss is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

28
32 25
Bruce Hale is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Best NBA Arenas

29
31 24
Fred Carter is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

30
30 23
Rolland Todd is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

31
39 31
Jim Todd is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

32
33 27
Keith Smart is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
subwrx added Keith Smart  

33
26 21
Quinn Buckner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
BahoPuwet added Quinn Buckner

34
25 21
Andrew Levane is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

35
34 34
Don Chaney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
4 0
Rasheed Wallace is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

37
27 28
Johnny McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

38
5 2
Mike Dunleavy, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

39
24 25
Ron Rothstein is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

40
5 2
Doc Rivers is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
1513013311576 added Doc Rivers Los Angeles Clippers

41
4 2
Terry Porter is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

42
3 1
Eddie Jones is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Best Three-Point Shooters in NBA History

43
3 1
Jay Triano is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

44
4 4
Brett Brown is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

45
3 3
Paul Silas is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

46
2 2
Eddie Jordan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Eddie Jordan Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball

47
2 1
Dennis Johnson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

48
2 1
Tom Nissalke is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

49
2 1
Randy Wittman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Randy Wittman Washington Wizards

50
2 1
is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time