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View Full Version : Could a player effectively operate as a team's head coach?



JasonJohnHorn
05-16-2015, 08:59 PM
I believe there is a rule about a player being a head coach now (though they are allowed to be assistant coaches), but this was not always the case. After Red retired, Bill Russell took over as head coach at the age of 32. He led the Celtics to 60 wins in his first season, and then took them to two straight championships as the head coach.

Could a player operate as a head coach today? And if so, which players could handle this?


I think J Kidd could have taken care of this, and like Chris Paul. And LBJ seems to be doing it already ;-)

goingfor28
05-16-2015, 09:01 PM
Lebron is the cavs coach

JasonJohnHorn
05-16-2015, 09:31 PM
Lebron is the cavs coach

I included LBJ in this half kidding.... I realize he decides what plays they are running on the floor, but that is really only about a 1/4 of what a job's coach is. I think guys like Kidd and Paul motivate and mentor and teach younger players, and can see what they are doing wrong on the court, both defensively and offensively. I see Kidd talk to guys coming back from playing defence or after a foul getting in their ear about what they did wrong, but clearly not just yelling at them, but giving them advice.

I'm not sure LBJ is at that level as a mentor type of player. I think that's part of the reason he needed to go to Miami to play with guys who already had that discipline (though he also needed to play with guys that were more talented; you can only do so much when the next best player on your team is Mo Williams who only gets an All-Star spot because two or three guys got injured before the game). Don't get me wrong, LBJ is beyond amazing, but Kidd and Paul are at a different level when it comes to mentoring and teaching guys.

KnicksorBust
05-16-2015, 10:47 PM
Pretty sure Dave Debuscherre did this as well. Ridiculously early in his career. I would love to see it but it would have to be the team's star player. I don't buy a role player getting it done in this media crazy world.

JasonJohnHorn
05-16-2015, 11:06 PM
Pretty sure Dave Debuscherre did this as well. Ridiculously early in his career. I would love to see it but it would have to be the team's star player. I don't buy a role player getting it done in this media crazy world.

I think this would be true in most instances. With Kidd though, I think he could have pulled this off in NY or in BK were he playing last year. I think he has the humility to make sure the right player takes the last shot, and that would mean not him, but still have the experience to command the respect of all the players.

I think Chris Paul would work in much the same way. He may be the best player on the Clippers (though some might say Blake is), but he would make sure the player who was right for that last shot would be taking that shot, even if it wasn't him.

I could also see somebody like Andre Miller, if he was serving as a third-string point guard who was there for insurance purposes in case of foul trouble or injury could potentially pull it off.

The problem is if you had a star player like LBJ, I think the 'coach' in that situation would always give the ball to himself, even if it wasn't the best option. You'd need a guy who'd have the humility to let somebody else shoot, though in LBJ's defense, on that team, him taking the last shot is going to be the best option 9 our of ten times.

IndyRealist
05-16-2015, 11:48 PM
I believe there is a rule about this now, considering a team could use it to skirt the salary cap by paying a player at the minimum but giving him a hefty salary as a coach.

slashsnake
05-17-2015, 02:24 AM
I think it could work, but not with guys like Kidd or CP3, who have to worry about playing 30 minutes a game, obviously they aren't looking at rotations, foul situations, minutes for players, etc. while on the court. So find that guy like Hedo Turkeglu (can't spell it) at 5-10 minutes a game at best. That's the kind of guy that MIGHT have a shot.

FlashBolt
05-17-2015, 02:34 AM
Bill Russell did it, didn't he?

Truthfully, LeBron has been a coach his entire career. Spoelstra? We all know this guy would have been fired had he not had a distinct relationship with Miami Heat for such a long time. He is a non-factor coach. I have yet to see him elevate any player in his coaching stint. Mike Brown? LeBron turned him from a COTY and as soon as James disappeared, he got fired TWICE in what? Three years? I think James has been running his own plays for quite some time now and there's 100% nothing wrong with that. James has a unique perspective to the game and he clearly knows the game inside out.

Minimal
05-17-2015, 09:34 AM
Well Juwan Howard was a bench player/part time asssistant coach/motivational speaker, then became assistant coach basically for Miami.

Minimal
05-17-2015, 09:38 AM
Bill Russell did it, didn't he?

Truthfully, LeBron has been a coach his entire career. Spoelstra? We all know this guy would have been fired had he not had a distinct relationship with Miami Heat for such a long time. He is a non-factor coach. I have yet to see him elevate any player in his coaching stint. Mike Brown? LeBron turned him from a COTY and as soon as James disappeared, he got fired TWICE in what? Three years? I think James has been running his own plays for quite some time now and there's 100% nothing wrong with that. James has a unique perspective to the game and he clearly knows the game inside out.
I think LeBron long time ago developed "his system" and runs it with his coaches. Took some plays from Mike Brown days, from Miami days and here he is now. His system works every time and it seems you don't even need a coach really.

MonroeFAN
05-17-2015, 12:16 PM
Oh lebron.

kingkenny01
05-17-2015, 12:48 PM
Not without someone to help them, basically it could work if you could delegate most of the work to another person, ie David blatt makes play calls and lebron picks the ones he wants, it would be too much for one man to run it by himself