Which NBA coaching staff would win a 5v5 tournament?

Obviously the NBA is filled with lots of talented players. 510 of the best players in the world are employed in the NBA. However, what about the guys coaching those players? Plenty of them have played in the NBA. Lots of them never played in the NBA, but did play collegiately or in other professional leagues. In this article, I created starting lineups for every NBA team made-up of their coaching staffs.

In order to be eligible, the staff member had to either be the head coach, assistant coach, or a player development coach. When going through each team, some teams did not have player development staffs available so their options were limited. There was also the question of which is more important: skill vs age. For example, do you prefer the sixty year old that played a decade in the NBA or the thirty year old that was a starter for a DIII team?

 

1. Brooklyn Nets

Steve Nash – Head Coach

Age: 46

Position: Guard

Height: 6’3

HS/College Career: Played four seasons at Santa Clara and was the WCC player of the year at Santa Clara twice.

Professional Career: Drafted 15th overall by the Phoenix Suns and played in the NBA for 18 seasons. He won two MVPs, was an 8x All-star, 3x 1st team All-NBA, 2x 2nd team All-NBA, 2x 3rd team All-NBA, 5x assists leader, and 4x 50-40-90 shooter.

Jacque Vaughn – Assistant Coach

Age: 45

Position: Guard

Height: 6’1

HS/College Career: Was a McDonald’s All-American and game MVP. Played four years at Kansas and was the Big 8 player of the year. He also set the school record for assists (now broken).

Professional Career: Drafted 27th overall by the Utah Jazz. He spent over a decade in the NBA. Won a championship with the Spurs.

Ime Udoka – Assistant Coach

Age: 43

Position: Forward

Height: 6’7

HS/College Career: Played at San Francisco for one season and Portland State for another.

Professional Career: Worked his way from NBDL and overseas gigs to NBA. Spent majority of his career with the Spurs.

Amar’e Stoudemire – Player Development Assistant

Age: 38

Position: Center

Height: 6’10

HS/College Career: Was Florida Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American.

Professional Career: Went straight from high school to the NBA and was drafted 9th overall by the Phoenix Suns. Was Rookie of the Year, a 6x all-star, All-NBA 1st team, and 4x All-NBA 2nd team. Spent the end of his career playing overseas in Israel. Won multiple championships and MVPs.

Tiago Splitter – Assistant Coach/Player Development

Age: 36

Position: Center

Height: 6’11

HS/College Career: N/A

Professional Career: Began his professional career when he was just 15. Very successful career in Spain where he won multiple championships and MVPs. Was drafted by the Spurs where he became the starting center and won a NBA championship.

Team Summary: The big question with this team would simply be can they stay healthy? Nash retired due to injuries. So did Splitter. Stoudemire struggled with injuries before a late career resurgence in Israel (thank you red wine baths!). If they’re healthy, they’re definitely the most talented.

 

2. Miami Heat 

Anthony Carter – Player Development Coach

Age: 45

Position: Guard

Height: 6’1

HS/College Career: Played two seasons at Saddleback Community College before transferring to Hawaii for two seasons. At Hawaii, Carter was All-WAC 1st team and WAC Player of the Year.

Professional Career: Played a season in the CBA before signing with the Heat. Played over a decade in the NBA, mostly with the Heat and the Nuggets.

Erik Spoelstra – Head Coach

Age: 50

Position: Guard

Height: 6’2

HS/College Career: Played four years at Portland and started all four years. Awarded the WCC Freshman of the Year.

Professional Career: Spent two years as a player-coach in lower level German League.

Chris Quinn – Assistant Coach

Age: 37

Position: Guard

Height: 6’2

HS/College Career: Runner up to LeBron James for Mr. Basketball in Ohio. Played four seasons at Notre Dame where he was a three year starter and two year captain. Named to the All-Big East 1st team.

Professional Career: Played in the NBA for five years, mostly for the Heat. Then, went overseas for two years before returning to play in the G-League and NBA for two years.

Caron Butler – Assistant Coach

Age: 40

Position: Forward

Height: 6’7

HS/College Career: Played two years at UCONN. His freshman year, he was All-Big East 3rd team. His sophomore year, he was All-Big East 1st team and the Big East Player of the Year. UCONN also won the Big East championship and tournament his sophomore year and Butler was the Big East Tournament MVP.

Professional Career: Drafted 10th overall by the Heat. Butler spent nearly 15 years in the NBA. He was on the All-Rookie 1st team, an All-Star 2x, and won a NBA Championship.

Malik Allen – Assistant Coach

Age: 42

Position: Forward

Height: 6’10

HS/College Career: Played four years at Villanova.

Professional Career: Played one season in the ABA before signing with the Heat and spending a decade in the NBA for several teams.

Team Summary: This team has four NBA players, but their youngest player is 37 years old. Would they be able to stick with some of the teams with 30 year olds who are only a few years removed from playing collegiate and professional basketball?

 

3. Chicago Bulls

Josh Longstaff – Assistant Coach

Age: 38

Position: Guard

Height: 5’9

HS/College Career: Played four years collegiately at Bryant University.

Professional Career: N/A

Ty Abbott – Player Development Coordinator

Age: 32

Position: Guard

Height: 6’3

HS/College Career: Played four years at Arizona State where he was All-Conference 1st team.

Professional Career: Played several years overseas and won two Estonian League championships.

Henry Domercant – Player Development Coordinator

Age: 40

Position: Guard

Height: 6’5

HS/College Career: Played four years at Eastern Illinois where he was the NCAA leader in scoring both his junior and senior years. He set a school and conference record for career scoring.

Professional Career: Spent over a decade playing overseas (and in the G-League). Won multiple international championships, was a Russian League All-Star, and All-Euroleague 2nd team.

Max Rotschild – Player Development Coordinator

Age: 23

Position: Forward

Height: 6’8

HS/College Career: Played four years collegiately at Penn.

Professional Career: N/A

Ronnie Burrell – Player Development Coordinator

Age: 37

Position: Forward

Height: 6’9

HS/College Career: Played four years at UNCG where he was a 2x All-Conference selection.

Professional Career: Played for a decade overseas and was a 3x Polish League champion.

Team Summary: While this team lacks NBA experience, they have plenty of professional experience and success. They’re also very young. Rothschild just graduated college and Domercant is their oldest player, but is only four years removed from his professional career.

 

4. Boston Celtics

Scott Morrison – Assistant Coach

Age: 38

Position: Guard

Height: N/A

HS/College Career: Played four seasons at University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. Set the school record for career assists and made three-pointers. Also, set the conference record for career made three-pointers.

Professional Career: N/A

Joe Mazzulla – Assistant Coach

Age: 32

Position: Guard

Height: 6’2

HS/College Career: 3x Rhode Island High School state champion. Named All-State senior year. Played collegiately at West Virginia. Captain his junior year and went to Final 4.

Professional Career: N/A

Jay Larranaga – Assistant Coach

Age: 45

Position: Guard

Height: 6’5

HS/College Career: Played four years at Bowling Green. Set the game, season, and career records for three-pointers made.

Professional Career: Spent over a decade playing overseas. Appeared in multiple All-Star games and won multiple championships.

Jerome Allen – Assistant Coach 

Age: 47

Position: Guard

Height: 6’4

HS/College Career: 2x Ivy League player of the year at Penn. 3x Ivy League champion.

Professional Career: Drafted in the 2nd round by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Played a couple of seasons in the NBA before playing overseas for over a decade. Was the Italian Supercup MVP.

Evan Turner – Assistant Coach

Age: 32

Position: Forward

Height: 6’6

HS/College Career: Played three years at Ohio State where he was Naismith Player of the Year, consensus 1st team All-American, Big 10 Player of the Year, Big 10 tournament MVP, and 2x 1st team All-Big 10.

Professional Career: Drafted 2nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers and had a decade long NBA career.

Team Summary: They have a couple of guys over 40, but Turner played in the NBA last season. They should be able to give him enough room to operate between collegiate snipers Larranaga and Morrison.

 

5. Golden State Warriors 

Aaron Miles – Player Development Coach

Age: 37

Position: Guard

Height: 6’1

HS/College Career: Won an Oregon state championship and was Oregon player of the year. Played at Kansas for four years where he helped them to a national championship appearance. Set the all-time record for career assists in Big 12 history. Was All-Big 12 twice and All-Big 12 defense three times.

Professional Career: Briefly played for the Warriors before spending most of his professional career overseas, where he won multiple international championships and MVPs.

Steve Kerr – Head Coach

Age: 55

Position: Guard

Height: 6’3

HS/College Career: Played four seasons at Arizona. Was first team All-Pac 10 twice and second team All-American once. Went to a final 4 and set the NCAA record for single season 3 point field goal percentage.

Professional Career: Played about 15 years in the NBA. Won 5 NBA championships. Won a three point contest and set the record (now broken) for single season three point field goal percentage.

Luke Loucks – Player Development Coach

Age: 30

Position: Guard

Height: 6’4

HS/College Career: Played four years at Florida State. Won an ACC Championship and set the FSU record for career games played.

Professional Career: Played just under five years in various international leagues and the G-League.

Theo Robertson – Player Development Coach

Age: 33

Position: Forward

Height: 6’6

HS/College Career: Played four years at Cal-Berkley. Was a two year captain and won a Pac-10 conference championship. Was second team all-pac 10.

Professional Career: N/A

Jarron Collins – Assistant Coach

Age: 42

Position: Center

Height: 6’11

HS/College Career: Played four years at Stanford where he was first team all-Pac 10.

Professional Career: Drafted in the 2nd round by the Utah Jazz, Collins spent about a decade in the NBA.

Team Summary: Yes, Kerr is going to struggle to run the floor. He’s in his fifties and has had back surgeries. However, he’s one of the best pure shooters in the history of basketball. With a solid playmaker in Miles and a big man with NBA experience in Collins, Kerr should be able to just roam around the three-point line.

 

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