Former NBA Coaches That Deserve Another Chance in the League
Keeping a head coaching gig can be tough. According to USA Today, over the last 20 years the average number of coaching changes per season is 6.5. And while some coaches may have warranted their termination, others deserved a second chance. Here’s a few former coaches that should garner interest from teams this offseason.
Stan Van Gundy
Career Record: 371-208
Two years ago Stan Van Gundy fell victim to the ‘Dwightmare’ fiasco in Orlando, butting heads with superstar Dwight Howard and eventually getting terminated by management, in an attempt to sway Howard to stay with the Magic.
Since then Van Gundy has been on a long hiatus, focusing on spending time with his family and taking a break from basketball all together, despite receiving numerous offers from teams last summer.
It’s still up in the air whether or not Van Gundy steps out of retirement this offseason, but if he does, he’s bound to land a coaching gig with any team that’s interested.
Career Record: 1131-756
Usually winning Coach of the Year will guarantee your job is safe, but that definitely wasn’t the case for former Nuggets coach George Karl.
Despite leading Denver to their best record in NBA franchise history last year, he was let go during the offseason after management and Karl couldn’t settle their differences on how to develop young players like Evan Fournier and JaVale McGee.
Karl has already made it known he wants back in the NBA, so don’t be surprised if he finds himself a new head coaching job as early as this summer.
“I still think I’m a gym rat and because of that, I want to coach,” Karl said. “There are so many things now in the world of basketball that have an interest to me that I’ve never had the time to pursue and put my heart into.”
“I think everybody understands my passion for the game and this allows me to stay on top of the game and be a part of the game and hopefully to be an ambassador for coaches because the coaches are taking a lot of hits over the last couple of years.”
Career Record: 214-201
Hollins almost made a return to the NBA this season, with rumors floating that he could become the next head coach of the Pistons following the termination of Mo Cheeks.
And even after Detroit opted to appoint John Loyer as an interim head coach, Hollins made it clear that he wants to coach again telling Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune:
“Of course,” Hollins says when asked if he’d like to return to the coaching ranks. “I miss coaching. What I miss is the teaching… the development of the team and the players… the players working together and watching them grasp it mentally, and then have them go out and do it physically.”
He’s proven during his previous tenure with Memphis that he’s an excellent coach, leading the team to their best record in franchise history last season at 56-26.
His coaching future in the NBA really boils down to whether or not a team is willing to give him another chance.
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops