Top 5 Worst Coaches in the NBA

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Top 5 Worst Coaches in the NBA


While it is the players on the floor who inevitably decide the outcome, much of the credit, or blame, will go to the respective team’s head coaches. Were the proper adjustments made after halftime? Were any adjustments made at all? Was this particular player given extended minutes in light of his hot performance or was he merely relegated to the bench simply because that is how the rotation has normally been?

These are among the plethora of questions NBA head coaches must answer as they attempt to the lead their teams to the playoffs and beyond. Some, like Gregg Popovich, Mike Woodson and Scotty Brooks among others, have done tremendous jobs with their teams, maximizing their players’ abilities by putting them in the best position possible to contribute to the team’s success.

Those who lead poorer teams, however, suffer the ignominy of being the reason for their team’s failures. Why did this coach only play that player 20 minutes instead of 30? What kind of play was drawn out of that timeout? How could he possibly not have double-teamed the opposing star player after that stellar first half he had?

Team expectations have a lot to do with how a head coach is viewed. It may not necessarily be the case that a coach has done a solid job just by making the playoffs. On the other hand, it can easily be deemed that a coach has done a rather tremendous job developing his players for the years going forward despite posting a losing record in a non-playoff year.

Here, however, we will discuss the top 5 worst coaches in the league who take a lot of flack, most deservedly so, for the jobs they have done with their respective teams.

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#5 Jacque Vaughn

Robert Mayer - US PRESSWIRE

Full out rebuild mode will not save Jacque Vaughn from this list as the Orlando Magic finished with a league worst 20-62 record.

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#4 Mike Dunlap

Kyle Terada - US PRESSWIRE

There is a reason why Michael Jordan decided to fire this man. Although it may not be all of his fault, as the Charlotte Bobcats are incredibly young, Mike Dunlap beat out only Vaughn for teams with terrible records.

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#3 Keith Smart

Kelley L. Cox - US PRESSWIRE

Keith Smart and mindless player rotations are pretty synonymous at this point. DeMarcus Cousins may be a head case, but he needs to be on the floor if your goal is to indeed win the game. His shaky back and forth relationship with this man along with other players on the roster land Smart at #3 on this list.

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#2 Kevin McHale

Kelley L. Cox - US PRESSWIRE

Kevin McHale, also referred to affectionately by Houston Rockets fans as Kevin "McFail," has also displayed rather senseless substitution patterns. In a key game against the Phoenix Suns near the end of the season, McHale left James Harden, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin out for most of the fourth quarter and only reinserted his three key starters after the lowly Suns built a double digit lead with less than five minutes to play. This loss landed the Rockets in the 8th spot as opposed to 7th spot. Furthermore, the team's lack of a discernible defensive philosophy left many fans frustrated.

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#1 Mike D'Antoni


Pretty easy #1 here. Not even a full week into the job, Mike D'Antoni exclaimed, "Because I wanted to win!" when pressed on his decision to bench Pau Gasol for the entire fourth quarter of a game the Los Angeles Lakers ended up losing. The Lakers possess a ton of talent, including probably the two best big men in the league in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, but we can't possibly play these two talented superstars at the same time, can we? Also, who cares that we have an older, aging roster? We have to run, run and run some more!

While we're at it, let's play Kobe Bryant 45 minutes a night at 34 years of age. He said he wanted to play and be on the floor. Is it really up to me to decide who plays and who doesn't? How many minutes should I give this guy? Thinking? Wait, I have to think? I'm just the coach. Can't I just stand here and pout instead?

It is this stubborn line of thinking and lack of an ability to properly adjust to his surroundings that lands D'Antoni at the very top of this ignominious list.