We’re a quarter of the way through the 2021-22 NBA season and like any good business, teams are evolving before our eyes. The Warriors’ stock is back to pre-Durant levels, the Suns can’t fucking lose, while the Lakers are just trying to survive the next shareholders meeting. But the fun thing about the NBA is that anything can happen over the next 60-plus games. Teams that have a hot first can still find themselves tanking at the season’s end, middling teams can get hot down the stretch, and injuries can and will wreak havoc on a team’s bottom line. As the calendar flips to December it’s time to buckle down, consolidate power, and for some, it might be time for a blood sacrifice to scrape their way into the play-in tournament.
All great teams need a great coach. To round out our mega-draft we decided to draft 30 legendary coaches, one for each team. We went in reverse order so Michael Jordan doesn’t get everything he wants.
Pick 1: San Antonio Spurs (John): Phil Jackson
Stats: 11 NBA Championships, 1155 Wins
The greatest coach of all time to everyone except Scottie Pippen.
Pick 2: New York Knicks (Phil): Gregg Popovich
Stats: 5 NBA Championships, 1310 Wins
Reigned over the Spurs dynasty for 20 years but hasn’t done much without Tim Duncan.
Pick 3: New Orleans Pelicans (John): Pat Riley
Stats: 5 NBA Championships, 1210 Wins
The true sex appeal of the showtime Lakers in the ’80s.
Pick 4: Los Angeles Lakers (Phil): Red Auerbach
Stats: 9 NBA Championships, 938 Wins
The Lakers getting the Celtics legend who tormented them 50 years ago is a perfect pick.
Pick 5: Orlando Magic (John): Chuck Daly
Stats: 2 NBA Championships, 638 Wins
Won with the Bad Boy Pistons, he can handle Iverson and Harden.
Pick 6: Oklahoma City Thunder (Phil): Steve Kerr
Stats: 3 NBA Championships, 376 Wins
Leader of the Warriors dynasty walked into a championship team.
Pick 7: Atlanta Hawks (John): George Karl
Stats: 1 Western Conference Championship, 1175 Wins
One of the best coaches to never win a championship.
Pick 8: Portland Trail Blazers (Phil): John Kundla
Stats: 4 NBA Championships (1 BAA Championship), 423 Wins
Won five championships before your parents were born.
Pick 9: Los Angeles Clippers (John): K.C. Jones
Stats: 2 NBA Championships, 553 Wins
Led arguably the greatest team ever with the 1986 Celtics, so he knows how to coach a super team.
Pick 10: Sacramento Kings (Phil): Erik Spoelstra
Stats: 2 NBA Championships, 607 Wins
Arguably the most underrated coach ever thanks to LeBron.
Pick 11: Brooklyn Nets (John): Don Nelson
Stats: 0 NBA Championships, 1335 Wins
Uncle Donny is going to start his own grow house on the sidelines of the Barclays Center.
Pick 12: Toronto Raptors (Phil): Larry Brown
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 1327 Wins
KG is probably going to go full Sprewell and choke the shit out of Larry Brown, and he’ll be out in two years.
Pick 13: Chicago Bulls (John): Lenny Wilkens
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 1332 Wins
A better coach than a player, and he’s a Hall of Fame player.
Pick 14: Cleveland Cavaliers (Phil): Billy Cunningham
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 454 Wins
See Lenny Wilkens.
Pick 15: Dallas Mavericks (John): Red Holzman
Stats: 2 NBA Championships, 696 Wins
Mark Cuban is going to love having a coach who doesn’t know what crypto is.
Pick 16: Golden State Warriors (Phil): Jerry Sloan
Stats: 2 Western Conference Championships, 1221 Wins
With Sloan the Warriors will get as close to a championship as a team can without ever actually winning one.
Pick 17: Memphis Grizzlies (John): Rudy Tomjanovich
Stats: 2 NBA Championships, 527 Wins
Hopefully, Michael Jordan will retire halfway through the season.
Pick 18: Washington Wizards (Phil): Jack Ramsay
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 864 Wins
Doctor Jack is just what the Wizards need to win their first championship since 1978.
Pick 19: Detroit Pistons (John): Rick Adelman
Stats: 2 Western Conference Championships, 1042 Wins
Rick Adelman will be fine if he remembers to play his best players more than half the game.
Pick 20: Boston Celtics (Phil): Bill Russell
Stats: 2 NBA Championships, 341 Wins
Bill Russell in Boston, what more do you need?
Pick 21: Houston Rockets (John): Doc Rivers
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 992 Wins
Doc won his championship with a big-three, now he has a big-15.
Pick 22: Philadelphia 76ers (Phil): Nick Nurse
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 138 Wins
The newest head coach on the list won a championship with Toronto which is all you need to know.
Pick 23: Minnesota Timberwolves (John): Rick Carlisle
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 836 Wins
Seems like he could actually be the savior the Timberwolves need.
Pick 24: Phoenix Suns (Phil): Mike D’Antoni
Stats: 0 NBA Championships, 672 Wins
D’Antoni back in Phoenix will be a beautiful thing.
Pick 25: Milwaukee Bucks (John): Bill Fitch
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 944 Wins
Dude just needs to corral Wilt, which shouldn’t be hard in Milwaukee.
Pick 26: Charlotte Hornets (Phil): Tyronn Lue
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 175 Wins
Ty Lue should just let Bill Russell coach.
Pick 27: Utah Jazz (John): Dick Motta
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 935 Wins
Magic is probably going to get Dick fired by Thanksgiving.
Pick 28: Denver Nuggets (Phil): Larry Costello
Stats: 1 NBA Championship, 430 Wins
LeBron is going to get Larry fired by Christmas.
Pick 29: Miami Heat (John): Doug Moe
Stats: 0 NBA Championships, 628 Wins
The Heat are going to score 180 points per game.
Pick 30: Indiana Pacers (Phil): Tex Winter
Stats: Assistant Coach with Phil Jackson for 9 NBA Championships, Triangle offense guru
Probably the best assistant coach of all time. Bringing him back to run the triangle with MJ will work again.