Gregg Popovich became the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs in 1996. Doc Rivers began coaching the Celtics in ‘99. Erik Spoelsta started his tenure with the Miami Heat in 2008, five years ago. That makes Spoelstra the third most tenured coach in the NBA.
That’s right. If you want job stability, the NBA head coaching circuit is not the place to look.
In the past month, George Karl, head coach of the Denver Nuggets and 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year, was sent packing. Lionel Hollins, who brought the Memphis Grizzlies to their first ever Western Conference Finals, is now also looking for work. Vinny Del Negro coached the Los Angeles Clippers to their best record in franchise history. He’s currently polishing up his resume. PJ Carlesimo won 49 games with the Brooklyn Nets this season, their first ever season in the borough. He’s now receiving a paycheck from ESPN as an NBA analyst. Last month, the Milwaukee Bucks made the playoffs. They fired their coach, and his predecessor, within a matter of months. Apparently, making the playoffs is hazardous to one’s career.