NBA 21/22: who are the coaches of each team this year?
The NBA season is underway and we take a look at each of the 30 NBA team's head coaches. There are a handful of first year coaches making their NBA debuts.
Greg Popovich is the last man standing from a fading generation of coaches in the NBA. Now there are names like Mike Budenholzer, and Monty Williams who are cement their place in the NBA as house hold names like “Pop,” Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley. The 75th season of the NBA began on Tuesday, so before we get too far into the season let’s take a look at the 30 coaches around the NBA.
Atlanta Hawks: Nate McMillan
McMillian took the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals after taking over for Lloyd Pierce who was let go in early March. The Hawks started the season 14-20, but McMillan turned things around immediately. Despite turning the fortune of the Hawks instantly he was still considered the interim head coach until this offseason when the Hawks finally gave him the job.
Boston Celtics: Ime Udoka
Udoka is in his first year as a head coach in the NBA after spending seven seasons being groomed by Greg Popovich. He was with Philly for a year before heading to Brooklyn as an assistant under Steve Nash last year.
Brooklyn Nets: Steve Nash
Nash has not only the responsibility to take one of the preseason favorites to take the title. That task got a whole lot harder now that Kyrie Irving will not be playing for the Nets this season until restrictions are lifted in New York, or he gets vaccinated.
Charlotte Hornets: James Borrego
Borrego signed a contract extension after taking the Hornets to the Play-In Tournament. He’s got a young base to build around
Chicago Bulls: Billy Donovan
It seems like ages ago that Billy D left the University of Florida for Oklahoma City. He found a new home in Chicago last year and this year he has a revamped roster with Alex Caruso, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.
Cleveland Cavaliers: J.B. Bickerstaff
Bickerstaff is in his second year as the Cavs coach. His head coaching career started in Houston as an interim, and then got the top job in Memphis Grizzlies. He took over in Cleveland at the end of the 2019 season, and in his first full season last year the Cavs went 22-50.
Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd
Kidd was signed in July after Rick Carlisle’s departure at the end of last season. He got his first HC job in Brooklyn back in 2013, and went to Milwaukee after a year as the Nets boss. He spent two seasons as an assistant where he won an NBA title. He was signed by Mark Cuban this summer, and will inherit a team that has gone to the playoffs the last two years.
The Dallas Mavericks are closing in on the hiring a new GM and Jason Kidd has emerged as a strong frontrunner to be hired as head coach, sources tell @espn_macmahon and me.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2021
Denver Nuggets: Michael Malone
Malone is one of the longest tenured coaches. He’s been with the Nuggets since 2015, and is coming off his best season in Denver. The Nuggets finished third in the Western Conference, but were knocked out in the second round.
Detroit Pistons: Dwayne Casey
Casey was signed by the Pistons after being named the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2018. He made the playoffs in his first year in Michigan, but got swept in the first round. Since then the Pistons have missed out on the playoffs two seasons in a row and Casey might be walking on thin ice coming into this season.
Golden State Warriors: Steve Kerr
One of the most decorated coaches in the league has won three NBA titles, and one Coach of the Year. The Warriors are coming off a season in which they crashed out of the Play-In Tournament and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Houston Rockets: Stephen Silas
Silas took over the Rockets in 2020 after a career as an assistant. He took the job knowing that Houston is in a rebuilding process, and that was never more evident than than when they traded away James Harden in the middle of last season.
Indiana Pacers: Rick Carlisle
Rick returns to Indiana after spending four years as the Pacers boss in the beginning of the millennium. He is moving on to new challenges after over a decade in Dallas, winning an NBA Championship in 2011, since then he never got past the first round of the playoffs.
Los Angeles Clippers: Tyron Lue
Lue was an assistant in L.A. before taking over in last year. In his first year in in the Staples Center, Lue took the Clips to the Western Conference Finals. He flirted with the NBA title in Cleveland, getting to the Finals in his two seasons with the Cavs.
Los Angeles Lakers: Frank Vogel
It was a disappointing season for the Lakers and Vogel, who were looking to go back-to-back after winning the title in the bubble two season ago. They were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by Phoenix. He has a legendary roster to work with this year, the only thing is many are closer to retirement than their prime. Vogel’s main job will be trying to manage all the big personalities on that team.
Memphis Grizzlies: Taylor Jenkins
The Grizzlies brought Jekins in 2019. Memphis missed the playoffs in his first year, but qualified by way of the Play-In Tournament last year. Two wins over the Spurs and the Warriors in OT got the Grizz into the post season for the first time since 2017.
Miami Heat: Eric Spoelstra
Few teams, and few coaches have been more loyal to one and other in the history of the league. He won two titles with LeBron and the Big Three of the Heat in 2012 and 2013. He has been through some dark times in Miami, but they stuck with Spoelstra who took them back to the NBA Finals in the bubble in 2020.
Milwaukee Bucks: Mike Budenholzer
Budenholzer played his old team in the Eastern Conference Finals, defeating the Hawks to get to the NBA Finals last season. He was at the Hawks from 2013-2018, and went to Milwaukee where he’s won an NBA Championship and a the 2019 Coach of the Year award in 2019.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Chris Finch
Finch is in his first full season as an NBA coach, and he took over a Minnesota team that has been looking for some direction over the last few years. He went 12-25 after taking over the T’Wolves job in February. He’s got
New Orleans Pelicans: WIllie Green
The former Philadelphia 76er has been named to his first head coaching job. After going to the NBA Finals as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns, he takes over a Pelicans team that finished 11th in the West last year.
New York Knicks: Tom Thibodeau
Tom is trying to bring the New York Knicks back to where they were in the late 90’s. We saw a glimmer of that last year when the Knicks returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Mark Daigneault
A product of the Biily D school of basketball, Daigneault was an assistant at the University of Florida, before taking over for the Oklahoma City G League team from 2014-2019. He spent a season as an assistant with the Thunder before getting promoted to the head coaching position after Billy Donovan left. He finished at 22-50 in his first season as an NBA head coach.
Orlando Magic: Jamahl Mosely
Mosley is yet another first year head coach making his debut this year. The former Dallas Maverick assistant was hired this offseason to turn a Magic team that finished 14th in the East last year.
Philadelphia 76ers: Doc Rivers
Doc has been a staple on NBA sidelines since the turn of the millennium. He won it all in 2008, and is looking to get back the Finals, and has a team that could get him there. They finished first in the East last season, but how much will the Ben Simmons situation affect Philly’s Finals expectations.
Phoenix Suns: Monty Williams
Williams is coming off a year in which he not only reached the Western Conference with the Suns, but he won Coach of the Year after the miraculous turn around he has orchestrated in Arizona. Can he improve on the incredible season the Suns had in just his third year as a head coach?
Portland Trail Blazers: Chauncy Billups
The long time Detroit Piston spent last season with the Los Angeles Clippers as an assistant under Ty Lue. He went to the Western Conference Finals with the Clips, and now it’s his turn to take the reigns with a playoff team from last year.
Sacramento Kings: Luke Walton
Walton has had back to back 31-41 seasons in Sacramento in his first two years as the Kings coach. He is still looking for his first winning season after three sub .500 years in LA as the Lakers coach.
San Antonio Spurs: Greg Popovich
He begins his 26th year as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. He has won the NBA title five different times, and won Coach of the Year three times. The Spurs made it to the play in game last year, but were bounced by the Grizzlies.
Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse
The 2019 NBA Champion, and 2020 Coach of the Year is a journeyman in the coaching world. He started in the college ranks as an assistant in Northern Iowa over 30 years ago, since then he has coached in England, Belgium, the USBL, the G League and now is now entering his fourth year in charge of the Raptors.
Utah Jazz: Quin Snyder
Snyder has been with the Jazz since taking over in 2014. He has taken the Jazz to the playoffs in five of the seven years he has been in Utah, including three trips to the Western Conference Semis. The Jazz were hit by the injury bug last year, if they can stay healthy they might just burst the conference semis bubble.
Washington Wizards: Wes Unsled Jr.
Unsled Jr. is entering his first year as a head coach in the NBA after spending the last 16 years as an assistant in Washington, Golden State, Orlando, and Denver. The Wizards went to the Play-In Tournament last year before getting KOed by the Celtics. The bad news for Unsled Jr. is he will be without Russell Westbrook who was shipped off to the Lakers this summer.
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