Bill Sharman: He led the 1971-72 Lakers to a record 33 consecutive wins and an NBA title. He also coached the Golden State Warriors into the Finals. Best of all, he managed to convince Wilt Chamberlain to play a team-oriented game. He's perhaps the most underrated NBA coach ever.
Phil Jackson: He went from being the Knicks' sixth man to the best NBA coach ever.
Nate McMillan: It's been his way or the highway.
Pat Riley: He specialized in adjusting his personal game plan to suit the specific skills of his players. In addition, all of his teams were always meticulously well prepared for every game they played.
Jerry Sloan: He's a feisty, disciplined player and coach whose teams reflect his personality.
Rick Adelman: He knows his Xs and Os as well as anybody.
Al Attles: He could defeat any of his peers in hand-to-hand combat, both as a player and as a coach. He used this threat to good advantage.
K.C. Jones: He was the epitome of a quiet, inspirational leader.
Kevin Loughery: He was perhaps the best practice coach in NBA history.
Doc Rivers: His most important talent is creating and encouraging team-oriented goals.
Paul Silas: His basic coaching tools were dignity, patience and honesty.
Don Chaney: He could quietly motivate good players, a tactic that didn't work with lesser players.
Eddie Jordan: He was too committed to a Princetonian offense.
George Karl: He plays too many head-games with his players.
Sam Mitchell: He knew the game but was much too confrontational.
Don Nelson: His Gargantuan ego gets in the way.
Scott Skiles: He's more intense on the bench than most of his players are on the court.
Mike Woodson: He has done a terrific job with a severely flawed ball club.
Mike Dunleavy: His paranoia gets in the way.
Why, then, have there been more role players who make the grade as coaches?
Because, in order to merely compete:
And why have so many great players failed when they moved to the bench?
As the player played, so shall he coach.