Coaches The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time  

Blake Edwards
Originally by
6.3k votes 1k voters 27.3k views 81 items

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
422 161
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks
2
197 90
Kurt Rambis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks
3
145 68
Tim Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets
4
118 62
M. L. Carr is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Boston Celtics
5
98 52
Brian Winters is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Vancouver Grizzlies
6
121 70
Sidney Lowe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies
7
120 69
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers
8
74 37
Bill Blair is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
New Jersey Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves
9
103 63
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Chicago Bulls
10
71 39
John Kuester is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Detroit Pistons
11
75 47
Bill Hanzlik is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Denver Nuggets
12
35 10
Derek Fisher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
New York Knicks
13
64 38
Brian Hill is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Orlando Magic, Vancouver Grizzlies
14
62 37
Brian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
aldridgee added Denver Nuggets
15
139 107
Mike Brown is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Veggamattic added Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers
16
75 51
Gar Heard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards
17
66 44
Dick Harter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
18
87 62
Vinny Del Negro is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
19
136 114
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
newhollowmusic added Los Angeles Lakers
20
48 31
Gene Littles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
21
66 50
Dick Vitale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
johnira added
22
48 34
Eric Musselman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
23
45 31
Keith Smart is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
subwrx added
 
24
37 24
Andrew Levane is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
25
49 36
Matt Guokas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time