NBA The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time  

Blake Edwards
Originally by
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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
283 103
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Isiah Thomas Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks

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2
119 64
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
77 41
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Cartwright Chicago Bulls

4
80 44
M. L. Carr is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
M. L. Carr Boston Celtics

5
94 58
Sidney Lowe is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Sidney Lowe Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies

6
92 56
Tim Floyd is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Tim Floyd Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets

7
58 29
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

8
71 44
Brian Winters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brian Winters Vancouver Grizzlies

9
56 33
John Kuester is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
John Kuester Detroit Pistons

10
108 79
Mike Brown is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Veggamattic added Mike Brown Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers

11
60 38
Gar Heard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Gar Heard Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards

12
52 31
Bill Blair is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Blair New Jersey Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves

13
47 28
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 39
Bill Hanzlik is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Hanzlik Denver Nuggets

15
89 73
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
newhollowmusic added Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers

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16
64 48
Vinny Del Negro is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

17
37 23
Lon Kruger is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Lon Kruger Atlanta Hawks

18
51 38
Dick Harter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

19
36 23
Gene Littles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

20
36 23
Matt Guokas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

21
39 26
Brian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
aldridgee added Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

22
46 36
Dick Vitale is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
johnira added Dick Vitale

23
40 31
Marc Iavaroni is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

24
33 24
Eric Musselman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

25
38 30
Bob Weiss is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

26
29 21
Earl Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

27
31 23
Bruce Hale is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

28
30 22
Fred Carter is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

29
29 21
Jim Cleamons is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

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30
29 21
Rolland Todd is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

31
38 29
Jim Todd is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

32
25 19
Andrew Levane is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

33
31 26
Keith Smart is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
subwrx added Keith Smart  

34
24 19
Quinn Buckner is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
BahoPuwet added Quinn Buckner

35
33 32
Don Chaney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

36
26 25
Johnny McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

37
23 23
Ron Rothstein is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

38
1 0
Brett Brown is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

39
1 0
Eddie Jordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Eddie Jordan Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball

40
1 0
Terry Porter is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

41
1 0
Tom Nissalke is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

42
1 0
Dennis Johnson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

43
1 0
Eddie Jones is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

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44
1 0
Jay Triano is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

45
1 1
Paul Silas is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

46
1 0
George Karl is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

47
1 0
Rasheed Wallace is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

48
0 0
is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

49
0 0
Mike Dunleavy, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

50
0 0
Bill Musselman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time