NBA Coaching Changes 2020

The NBA’s coaching carousel didn’t point to a quick spin for the past months. But, this has quickly changed and the coaching carousel is in full flow. Teams are booting coaches, some are being hired, while some teams are having vacancies to fill. This is what makes the NBA offseason interesting. So what are the major coaching changes made? Who are the teams with vacancies? And what hires have been made so far?

  • Doc Rivers – LA Clippers

Steve Ballmer, chairman of LA Clippers, referred to the move as a ‘mutual decision’ after Doc Rivers stepped down following a disappointing end of the season. The Clippers underperformed during the championship even after having the input of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Doc Rivers had two more years remaining in his contract. In the regular season, the Clippers went 49-23 which was the fourth-best record in NBA’s history. However, they blew a 3-1 semi-final lead against Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference.

He has since been hired by the Philadelphia 76ers

  • Brett Brown – Philadelphia 76ers

Brett Brown was shown the door by the Sixers after underwhelming performances. The last three years have seen the Sixers crack in the playoffs at Boston and they had won one in nine games before his axing. His sacking came after seven seasons with the franchise and while the team settled for former Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, they were also determined to keep Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

While taking the job, Doc Rivers stated that the ‘talent’ in the team made him take the job.

  • Nate McMillan – Indiana Pacers

Nate McMillan was also sacked by the Pacers in what came as a shock to many. The decision came after being swept out of the NBA 2019-20 playoffs. Since his hiring in 2016, Nate had always led the team to regular success but the past postseason saw him lose the grip. He lost all the four playoffs including three (3) 4-0 defeats.

This came as a shock since he had signed a one-year deal contract extension two weeks before. They have since hired Nate Bjorkgren (Former Raptors assistant)

  • Alvin Gentry – New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans also fired their coach after missing the playoffs. This was the fourth time the team had missed the playoffs in five seasons. The 133-127 loss to the Magic fuelled more rumors of Alvin leaving the team.

New Orleans had struggled during the NBA restart and to crown the disappointing year, they ended up with a 30-42 record. Speaking after the decision, David Griffin, Pelicans basketball operations chief, stated, ‘We believe now is the right time to make this change and bring in a new voice.’

Stan Van Gundy has since taken over the position.

Other coaching changes made are;

  • Brooklyn Nets – Kenny Atkinson to Steve Nash
  • Chicago Bulls – Jim Boylan to Billy Donovan
  • Cleveland Cavaliers – John Beilein to J.B. Bickerstaff
  • Houston Rockets – Mike D’Antoni to Stephen Silas
  • New York Knicks – David Fizdale to Tom Thibodeau
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – Billy Donovan to (TBD)