NBA The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time  

Blake Edwards
Originally by
4.8k votes 850 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
143 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 50
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 61
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
75 38
Byron Scott is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

6
85 50
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Cartwright Chicago Bulls

7
100 64
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 48
Brian Winters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Brian Winters Vancouver Grizzlies

9
59 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 37
John Kuester is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
John Kuester Detroit Pistons

11
53 32
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 43
Gar Heard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Gar Heard Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards

13
116 89
Mike Brown is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Veggamattic added Mike Brown Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers

14
72 50
Vinny Del Negro is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Top NBA Players Of All Time

15
62 43
Bill Hanzlik is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Bill Hanzlik Denver Nuggets

16
57 41
Dick Harter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

17
41 27
Matt Guokas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

18
39 26
Gene Littles is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

19
44 31
Brian Shaw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
aldridgee added Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

20
103 90
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
newhollowmusic added Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers

21
38 27
Eric Musselman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Best Ubisoft Games List

22
40 30
Lon Kruger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Lon Kruger Atlanta Hawks

23
44 35
Marc Iavaroni is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

24
53 44
Dick Vitale is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
johnira added Dick Vitale

25
33 25
Jim Cleamons is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

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

27
36 28
Keith Smart is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
subwrx added Keith Smart  

28
41 34
Bob Weiss is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Top Current NBA Players

29
42 33
Jim Todd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

30
34 27
Bruce Hale is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

31
33 26
Fred Carter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

32
32 25
Rolland Todd is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

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

34
27 24
Quinn Buckner is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
BahoPuwet added Quinn Buckner

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

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
5 1
Randy Wittman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Randy Wittman Washington Wizards

37
35 37
Don Chaney is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

38
7 4
Derek Fisher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Derek Fisher New York Knicks

39
6 3
Mike Dunleavy, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

40
28 30
Johnny McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

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
6 4
Rasheed Wallace is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

The Best NBA Players of the Decade

43
4 2
Tom Nissalke is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time

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

45
10 9
Roy Rubin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
RayLeBov added Roy Rubin

46
9 8
Doc Rivers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
1513013311576 added Doc Rivers Los Angeles Clippers

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

48
3 4
Eddie Jordan is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
Eddie Jordan Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball

49
7 9
Bill Fitch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time
MikeGee added Bill Fitch

50
3 3
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst NBA Coaches of All Time