Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Transition from player to coach

As someone who grew up a New York Knicks fan and spent his college years watching Ewing, Starks and Houston at least make it exciting every year it is painful to see today that the team is only 7-17. What makes it even more painful is also recalling what an inspiration Isiah Thomas was on the court and the role he played in leading his team to back to back titles in 89-90 seasons.

This got me thinking about the difficulty in transition from great player to great coach\manager and how it really requires a completely different set of skills. So, here is a sports trivia question for you. Which great professional sports players have been able to succeed both on the court and on the sidelines as player and coach (or manager). I have come up with only a handful since the 50’s. If you can think of any please leave it in the comments below or challenge yourself on TriviaFix basketball trivia section.


Anonymous said...

Ditka FTW!!

pbump said...

How about former Knick Phil Jackson?

Anonymous said...

lenny wilkins.

Anonymous said...

Avery Johnson

Anonymous said...

Rudy Tomjanovich?

He just came to mind... :)

Anonymous said...

Not Pro, but Dan Gable is head and shoulders above the ones listed thusfar

Magglio said...

John Madden?
Jack Del Rio?
LC from the Hills?

Yeah, I went there.

Anonymous said...

Sam Mitchell - Coach of the Year. Not necessarily a GREAT player, but still good, and he's been a pretty good coach, maybe not yet great.

also, Craig McTavish of the edmonton oilers is pretty good coach.

maybe the best of them all, in terms of Hockey would be the Sutter brothers, one of them the manager of the Calgary Flames, the other the coach for the junior canadian hockey squad.

Anonymous said...

Bob Knight was on an Ohio State national champion and has coached a couple of champinships at Indiana, including the 1976 team widely regarded as the best college team ever.

Anonymous said...

Larry Bird

Militus said...

Wayne Gretzky

gnolstay said...

Doug Collins

Sui Mak said...

Don Nelson - possibly the greatest 6-man ever. Top 3 most winnest coach in the history of the NBA.
Larry Bird - 50 greatest NBA player of all time. Took the Pacers to the NBA finals.

Avery Johnson was never a great player.

Wayne Gretsky was never a great coach.

Anonymous said...

A very good college player who ended up being a great college coach.

Steve Spurrier.

Also you could look at Phillip Fulmer who had a successful college career.

Jeff said...

Isiah's teammate Bill Laimbeer is a successful coach in the WNBA of the Detroit Shock.

Pete Rose -- probably THE most prolific player/coach given that he actually played AND coached in the same games.

Dani Waxman said...

But how many of these great players gone coaches have gone all the way as both! Only a handfull. It is a completely difernt skill set needed and leadership on the court does not translate to leadership on teh bench.

Craig said...

Jerry Sloan - Played for Chicago, Coached Chicago and Jazz. 20 seasons with Jazz.

Jamewa said...

I would say:
Frank Robinson
Felipe Alou
Bill Russell (does that count?)
Russ Grimm (Not a head coach yet but soon could)
Wes Unseld
Bill Lambier
K.C. Jones
I would also echo the thought of Larry Bird as probably the best ever. too bad he's not doing it anymore.

Eventually Scottie Pippen will be a good one and if he ever felt the need, Peyton Manning could be great.

Anonymous said...

Mike Ditka was a HOF player and won a Superbowl as a coach. I don't think he had more then 2 losing season with the Bears either.

kjb said...

hi, good blog

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