Being a head coach in the NBA can be a thankless job.
If your team is doing really well, you have to keep it up or else you could lose your job and if your team is doing poorly, you will be the most-hated person by legions of faithful fans.
With such a major downside, it’s surprising to see so many people constantly trying to get a job coaching in the NBA.
Nobody wants to be a head coach more than someone who was before; the NBA is full of guys who used to coach but are now outside looking in.
Here are a few former NBA head coaches who deserve another shot at glory.
3. Terry Stotts
No one can say that Terry Stotts is a bad coach, even though he was recently fired by the Portland Trail Blazers.
In fact, Stotts has been receiving a lot of support from Blazers fans now that the team is performing just the same – if not a little worse – in his absence.
Blazers defensive rating:
28th in 2019-20
29th in 2020-21
28th this season pic.twitter.com/vxXHw4ZmO3
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 4, 2021
During his time with Portland, Stotts notched a 402-318 record but the team always came short of the glory of the Finals.
When you look at the last few years in Portland, you see a team that is often an offensive powerhouse that just couldn’t overcome an increasingly-stacked Western Conference and their own shoddy defense.
It is worth mentioning that Stotts had a lot of loyalty from his team, including Damian Lillard – that says a lot about his ability, style, and personality.
It feels like it’s only a matter of time before Stotts finds a new job, especially since he is so good at crafting young players into superstars.
In fact, he was a rumored pick for the Indiana Pacers position this summer before the position went to former Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
2. George Karl
During his coaching career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and Sacramento Kings, he had a record of 1,131-756.
Karl had the nickname “Furious George” which suggests that he can be a little, well, difficult to work with.
However, his intense work ethic has created results and has brought out toughness in nearly every team he has led.
Karl has made no secret that he wants to coach again and thinks he still has a lot of gas left in his tank so he’s patiently waiting for a phone call from the league – and he deserves one.
1. Jeff Van Gundy
Jeff Van Gundy is probably best known as a broadcaster now but he was once a very talented coach – and could be again.
Van Gundy only coached two teams – the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets – and ended with a record of 430-318.
He was also part of this infamous fight between the Knicks and Miami Heat that he still gets ridiculed for.
that time Jeff Van Gundy tried to break up Zo vs LJ pic.twitter.com/zBonuJovfJ
— Mike Camerlengo (@MCamerlengo) December 3, 2021
Just watching Van Gundy on TV will teach you that he knows a lot about the sport and is also still very enthusiastic about it too.
That sort of know-how and enthusiasm could go a long way to turning a good team into a great one.
Van Gundy’s name has been tossed around nearly every time a new coaching vacancy opens and it feels like he will land another gig in the near future.
Van Gundy is a basketball fan at heart and knows the game inside and out – two attributes that have made him a great coach before and will make him a great coach again.