Steve Nash and the 10 NBA Players Who Will Be Coaching Stars
It's interesting to see some of the players I watched growing up during the '90s are now becoming coaches. Patrick Ewing, Avery Johnson, Aaron McKie (okay, so Aaron McKie wasn't the type of player that Ewing or Johnson was). They're all honing their craft as coaches or assistant coaches now.
It's not so hard then to look into the future and wonder if some players now would make good coaches down the line. Some of them are stars or focused on specific skills, while others are journeyman who have bounced around the league.
So with that in mind, here are 10 NBA players who will be coaches someday.
10. Jason Kidd, PG, Dallas Mavericks
Kidd will be remembered as one of the better point guards in the game, and there are a couple of point guards on this list. He is an all-around player who is perhaps a very underrated defender, but there's no doubting that his vision, creativeness and ability to distribute make him one of the best of this era. There's no way to re-create that, but Kidd would be a great teacher of point guards and on how to run an up-tempo offense.
9. Derek Fisher, PG, Los Angeles Lakers
Like I mentioned, there are a few point guards on this list. Maybe it's because point guards see the game differently than others. Either way, Fisher is one of those guys who just has the makeup of a coach. He can manage the game, he knows when to distribute and when to shoot, and he's one of those hard-working hustle players that just understands how to win.
8. Tim Duncan, PF, San Antonio Spurs
He doesn't have brute power like Shaq nor is he a dominant scorer like Chamberlain. But Duncan just does everything well and could be one of the more complete forwards of our time. He can bring so much in terms of developing forwards in how to succeed by doing everything well. And let's face it, when your nickname is the Big Fundamental, how can you not become a coach?
7. Raja Bell, SG, Utah Jazz
More often than not it's those journeyman players who bounce around through the league that eventually become coaches. Bell has bounced around the league making a career for himself off of outside shooting and a reputation as one of the best defenders in the league. I could see Bell at the end of his career becoming a defensive-minded coach a la Tom Thibodeau.
6. Grant Hill, SF, Phoenix Suns
Hill will always be the player where you'll think of him and say to yourself, "What If?"
Of course, the prime of his career was struck down by injuries. But it says something to his character that he's still in the league and found a niche for himself. That kind of perseverance makes him very attractive as a coaching candidate, as well as his high basketball IQ and his ability to create offense.
5. Ben Wallace, C, Detroit Pistons
Ben Wallace will never be considered an offensive force. But in his prime in the early portion of this century, there were few post players who were more dominant defensively than Wallace. His rebounding ability and his big blocks made those Pistons teams so tough to play against, and he'd be a great mentor to teach young players how to play defense.
4. Ray Allen, SG, Boston Celtics
Perhaps one of the best pure shooters in his prime because of his flawless and perfect technique. Allen has made the three-point shot an artform in his career. And I could see him down the line working with young players and others using his perfect mechanics to create better outside shooters.
3. Marcus Camby, PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers
Camby was never a fantastic offensive player (averaging 10.2 points for his career and his career-high average was 14.8 his rookie year), but he hasn't lasted this long for no reason. It's his career averages of 10-plus rebounds and two-plus blocks per game that's kept him in the league and like other players on this list, his fundamentally sound approach to defense makes him a solid coaching candidate.
2. Chauncey Billups, PG, Denver
Like I said early, there were a few point guards on this list. But Billups makes this list because he is one of the better all-around point guards. Like Fisher, he can manage the game while knowing when to take shots and when to distribute. His knowledge of the half-court offense would make him a great coach, but his attention to detail on defense makes him a great candidate as well.
1. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
Nash just understands offense. Whether it's running an up-tempo offense or running sets in the half-court, Nash just knows offense and how to improvise to beat a defense. That understanding would make him a hot coaching commodity someday. He was never known for his defense, but his natural ability on offense would be an asset to any point guard.