NBA The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time  

Blake Edwards
Originally by
4.8k votes 847 voters 23.2k views 79 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
328 120
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
142 72
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
92 49
M. L. Carr is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
M. L. Carr Boston Celtics

4
106 60
Tim Floyd is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Tim Floyd Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets

5
74 38
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

6
84 50
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Cartwright Chicago Bulls

7
100 63
Sidney Lowe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Sidney Lowe Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies

8
78 47
Brian Winters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brian Winters Vancouver Grizzlies

9
58 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
60 36
John Kuester is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
John Kuester Detroit Pistons

11
53 31
Brian Hill is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brian Hill Orlando Magic, Vancouver Grizzlies

12
65 42
Gar Heard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Gar Heard Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards

13
72 50
Vinny Del Negro is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

14
114 89
Mike Brown is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Veggamattic added Mike Brown Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers

The Top NBA Players Of All Time

15
61 43
Bill Hanzlik is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Hanzlik Denver Nuggets

16
56 41
Dick Harter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

17
39 26
Gene Littles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

18
40 27
Matt Guokas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

19
103 89
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
newhollowmusic added Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers

20
43 31
Brian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
aldridgee added Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

21
37 26
Eric Musselman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Best Games To Play Online

22
39 29
Lon Kruger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Lon Kruger Atlanta Hawks

23
43 34
Marc Iavaroni is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

24
41 32
Bob Weiss is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

25
34 25
Bruce Hale is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

26
52 43
Dick Vitale is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
johnira added Dick Vitale

27
32 24
Earl Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

28
32 24
Jim Cleamons is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Best NBA Arenas

29
32 24
Rolland Todd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

30
41 32
Jim Todd is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

31
28 21
Andrew Levane is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

32
35 28
Keith Smart is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
subwrx added Keith Smart  

33
32 26
Fred Carter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

34
26 24
Quinn Buckner is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
BahoPuwet added Quinn Buckner

35
26 25
Ron Rothstein is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

36
35 36
Don Chaney is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

37
28 29
Johnny McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

38
6 3
Mike Dunleavy, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

39
6 3
Rasheed Wallace is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

40
4 1
Randy Wittman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Randy Wittman Washington Wizards

41
8 7
Brett Brown is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

42
9 7
Doc Rivers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
1513013311576 added Doc Rivers Los Angeles Clippers

The All-Time Greatest NBA Coaches

43
6 4
Derek Fisher is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Derek Fisher New York Knicks

44
4 2
Tom Nissalke is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

45
4 2
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

46
10 9
Roy Rubin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
RayLeBov added Roy Rubin

47
4 3
Jay Triano is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

48
7 8
Bill Fitch is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
MikeGee added Bill Fitch

49
5 5
George Karl is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

50
3 4
Eddie Jordan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Eddie Jordan Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball