Skip to content

Why so many coaching changes? Well, money for one.

Sep 18, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

New Boston Celtics Head Coach Stevens smiles during a news conference at the Celtics training center in Waltham Reuters

There are nine first-time NBA coaches taking over teams this season. Nine. There were four other coaches who moved around on the carousel (Mike Brown, Mo Cheeks, Doc Rivers and Larry Drew). But by and large when teams decided to make a change this year they went with the new guy.

Fans often like that — “hey, we went with new blood rather than recycling somebody else’s problem.” Teams sell this and how they got the smart young guy who is the next big thing, but there is another motive here.

Money. It’s always about the money.

Check out this quote from a coach that NBA.com’s Steve Aschenburner got at the two-day annual coaches meetings in Chicago.

Or as one NBA coach put it this week, “Part of the lockout talk back [in 2011] was, ‘If you’re losing money, why don’t you stop paying the coaches so much?’ Some of these guys were going to require big bucks to get re-signed. If you’re a team that’s rebuilding, why pay big bucks to a coach for that?”

Boston’s GM Danny Ainge has sold how he wanted to keep Doc Rivers and that Rivers leaving for the Los Angeles Clippers wasn’t mutual (something Rivers denies), but look at it this way: Rivers made $7 million last season with the Celtics and had years left on his deal, Brad Stevens will make less than half that. Memphis, Denver, Philadelphia and others saved money on coaches as well.

Look at all the new coaches this season and you could argue money at least influenced the decision in a lot of cases. That list of the nine new ones is: Stevens (Boston), Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta), Steve Clifford (Charlotte), Dave Joerger (Memphis), Brett Brown (Philadelphia), Brian Shaw (Denver), Jeff Hornacek (Phoenix) and Mike Malone (Sacramento).

Not every team made a move just for money, in some case the change was coming anyway and teams are now paying a couple coaches. In limited cases teams are paying more — such as the Clippers, it’s costing them extra as they are paying Rivers $7 million a year to get Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to make the right defensive rotation.

Remember, the NBA is a business. An entertainment business where we prefer to focus on the entertainment, but it’s a business first and foremost. And just like any business, the guys running the show are looking for ways to cut a few corners without hurting the product.

Latest Posts
  1. Blake Griffin called for suspension-inducing 16th technical foul

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    NBA could still rescind the technical

  2. Clippers and Raptors clinch best records in franchise history, Spurs next?

    Apr 16, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

    Blake Griffin, Jonas Valanciunas Blake Griffin, Jonas Valanciunas

    How many years feature three of the best records in a franchise’s history?

  3. Chicago Bulls emphasizing trade options over luxury tax avoidance

    Apr 16, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls

    Bulls give Greg Smith, Ronnie Brewer, Lou Amnundson and Mike James multi-year contracts

  4. Playoff Chase: Seven meaningful games on final night of NBA season

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Zach Randolph, Dirk Nowitzki Zach Randolph, Dirk Nowitzki

    Nothing like waiting until the last minute to figure things out.

  5. 2014 PBT Awards: Most Improved Player

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis

    Nine combined spots on the ballot go to eight different players, and none of our winners made the other two’s top three

  6. Tuesday NBA grades: Chris Paul looks playoff ready

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:42 AM EDT

    Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Chris Paul and J.J. Redick look good as Clippers ready for playoffs.

  7. Chris Paul puts Evan Fournier in spin cycle (VIDEO)

    Apr 16, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Poor Evan Fournier is on the wrong end of a highlight that’s going to get shown a lot for a few days. At least.

  8. Iman Shumpert drops Paul Pierce with the crossover (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:46 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Video of one player executing a crossover that drops another player to the floor — you know you’re watching.

  9. D’Antoni didn’t know draft lottery implications for Lakers after win over Jazz

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT

    Mike D'Antoni AP

    Mike D’Antoni had no idea how beating the Jazz on Monday would negatively impact his team’s Draft Lottery chances. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  10. Carmelo Anthony has torn labrum, Knicks shut him down for season

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    Carmelo Anthony AP

    Anthony is out for the rest of the season but will not be surgery and will be good to go next season.

  11. Celtics’ legend Cedric Maxwell stood in location of Boston Marathon bombing just minutes before

    Apr 15, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

    Just 7-8 minutes before, Cedric Maxwell had stood next to one of the people killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, but he decided to go inside and get warm.

  12. With top spot secure, Pacers to rest George, West, Stephenson, Watson Wednesday

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:41 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

    With nothing on line Pacers going to rest key guys… except Hibbert.

  13. Could Nets rest guys hoping to face Raptors instead of Bulls in first round? (They didn’t)

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

    Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston, Deron Williams Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston, Deron Williams

    It’s not something you could ever prove (and the Nets may not even do it), but they could rest guys in hopes of falling into a first-round matchup with Toronto.

  14. Damian Lillard not making friends in latest Foot Locker ad (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

    Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

    Damian Lillard doesn’t want to end up like all those players without rings. The ones sitting in his living room.

  15. 2014 PBT Awards: Executive of the Year

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

    Ryan McDonough Ryan McDonough

    Two general managers make all three ballots, one tops each

  16. Luol Deng wins J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

    Paul George, Luol Deng Paul George, Luol Deng

    Award honors ‘outstanding service and dedication to the community’

  17. Fan runs into Chandler Parson’s car on way to game, asks for autograph

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    It was just a fender bender, the good news is nobody got hurt. However, Chandler Parsons was delayed getting to the Toyota Center for the Rockets game Monday when he got into an accident. And then the other driver found out who he was and… I will let Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tell…

Featured video

Woodson, D'Antoni's coaching futures
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (4381)
  2. D. Wade (4165)
  3. K. Love (4003)
  4. L. James (3574)
  5. G. Dragic (3443)
  1. C. Anthony (3384)
  2. S. Curry (3370)
  3. D. Howard (3280)
  4. R. Rondo (3112)
  5. D. Lee (3021)