We’ve seen former players become head coaches in the NBA. Look at Phil Jackson, Byron Scott, Pat Riley as a few names on the list. They’ve had success.
Even most recently the success of Mark Jackson and the hiring of Jason Kidd shows that it’s not that crazy to hire a former player.
With the move of another former player turned coach, Doc Rivers, to Los Angeles, this prompted Antoine Walker to ponder if coaching is for him.
Here’s the deal though. Former players without coaching experience is a hit or miss. For the Warriors hiring Mark Jackson, it’s been a hit. Even Phil Jackson had no previous coaching experience and he’s one of the best coaches ever in the basketball world.
But we also look at coaches like Doc Rivers, who became an assistant before becoming a full-time coach. Sometimes, this journey is the way to go for these aspiring coaches.
Yet we look at former players like Patrick Ewing and Brian Shaw who’ve been assistants for years but have not latched onto a head coaching job. Apparently now, there is no real route to becoming a head coach in the NBA. I guess you just have to nail the interview process if you’re a former player.
But for Antoine Walker, he is a different case. We’ve all known about his past financial troubles and this clearly appears to be a move to just help him out financially. Sure he probably has a great basketball mind, but would you think he’s a quality candidate for the job?
Maybe it’s wishful thinking on his part, but it’s harder for me these days to really accept a hire of any former player these days. Both Kidd and Jackson were questionable hires but since both were point guards, they knew how to run a team so that leadership quality is in their DNA. Walker, I am not sure being a swingman earns him that same qualities.
Who knows how the rest of this offseason will unfold? But I will say that as the years go by, more and more former players without coaching experience will be considered. There’s a trend in seeing it success and realistically, how much coaching experience must you have to be qualified?
Maybe being a basketball coach isn’t as tough as we have thought it to be over these years. Or maybe we’re just not giving credit to these players for being a lot more intelligent than we thought.