Longest-Tenured NBA Head Coaches

Byron Scott is the NBA’s newest coach after the Lakers officially announced his hiring Monday evening, and while that distinction will no doubt carry into the season, it won’t last too much longer. Michael Malone of the Kings was the NBA’s latest coaching hire when Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors last checked in on the league’s longest-tenured coaches on June 4th of last year, and now Malone has been around longer than nearly half of his peers.

There have been 14 additions to this list since last time. That doesn’t include three entire coaching tenures that have come and gone: Jason Kidd with the Nets, Maurice Cheeks with the Pistons, and John Loyer, who served in an interim capacity after he replaced Cheeks in February. Kidd is on this list, but in his new capacity as coach of the Bucks. Lionel Hollins, Kidd’s successor in Brooklyn, and Scott are already behind Kidd, even though Kidd has officially been with the Bucks for less than a month. Larry Drew, whom Kidd replaced in Milwaukee, had only been on the job a few days when Luke compiled last year’s list.

The No. 1 spot remains unchanged, and on-court results demonstrate the virtue of patience. Gregg Popovich, who signed an extension earlier this summer after winning his fifth NBA title, remains the dean of NBA head coaches. Right behind him is Erik Spoelstra, the coach he’s faced in the last two NBA Finals. The top three spots are occupied by the last three coaches to win championships, and Nos. 1-4 are the only coaches to take part in the Finals since 2011.

  1. Gregg Popovich, Spurs: December 1996
  2. Erik Spoelstra, Heat: April 2008
  3. Rick Carlisle, Mavericks: May 2008
  4. Scott Brooks, Thunder: November 2008 (interim; permanent since April 2009)
  5. Monty Williams, Pelicans: June 2010
  6. Tom Thibodeau, Bulls: June 2010
  7. Frank Vogel, Pacers: January 2011 (interim; permanent since July 2011)
  8. Kevin McHale, Rockets: June 2011
  9. Dwane Casey, Raptors: June 2011
  10. Randy Wittman, Wizards: January 2012 (interim; permanent since June 2012)
  11. Jacque Vaughn, Magic: July 2012
  12. Terry Stotts, Trail Blazers: August 2012
  13. Jeff Hornacek, Suns: May 2013
  14. Mike Budenholzer, Hawks: May 2013
  15. Steve Clifford, Bobcats: May 2013
  16. Michael Malone, Kings: June 2013
  17. Dave Joerger, Grizzlies: June 2013
  18. Brian Shaw, Nuggets: June 2013
  19. Doc Rivers, Clippers: June 2013
  20. Brad Stevens, Celtics: July 2013
  21. Brett Brown, Sixers: August 2013
  22. Stan Van Gundy, Pistons: May 2014
  23. Steve Kerr, Warriors: May 2014
  24. Flip Saunders, Timberwolves: June 2014
  25. Quin Snyder, Jazz: June 2014
  26. Derek Fisher, Knicks: June 2014
  27. David Blatt, Cavs: June 2014
  28. Jason Kidd, Bucks: July 2014
  29. Lionel Hollins, Nets: July 2014
  30. Byron Scott, Lakers: July 2014
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2 thoughts on “Longest-Tenured NBA Head Coaches

  1. Steve

    So long to the days of tenured coaches. Now 5-6 years is considered long term


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