Mark Jackson played for seven teams during his 17-year career as player, winning the 1988 Rookie of the Year award, earning an All-Star appearance in 1989 and competing in 131 playoff games. He also led the league in assists (11.4 per game) during the 1996-97 season and is one of only four players to record at least 10,000 total assists. Jackson was noted for his style of backing down opposing point guards, which prompted the league to install the "five-second rule," prohibiting players from dribbling with their backs to the basket for more than five seconds below the foul line. After retiring in 2004, Jackson went on to become a TV analyst before the Warriors handed him his first head-coaching job on June 6.
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The third overall pick in the 1980 draft, McHale was a seven-time All-Star and three-time champion during his 13 seasons with the Celtics. The Hall of Famer also won the NBA's Sixth Man award twice and, in 1996, was chosen as one of the 50 greatest NBA players. McHale took over the Rockets after the 2010-11 season, returning to coaching for the first time since posting a 20-43 record with the Timberwolves in the 2008-09 season. He spent 15 years with the 'Wolves before he was let go in 2009 and went on to serve as a TV analyst.
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The 10th overall pick out of Creighton in 1964, Silas racked up more than 10,000 points and 10,000 boards during his 16-year run in the pros, earning two All-Star appearances and winning three championships -- 1974 and '76 with the Celtics and 1979 with the SuperSonics. Silas previously coaching the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers before taking over the Bobcats when Larry Brown was fired in December 2010. He holds a 380-429 career record as a coach.
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Corbin got his first try as a head coach when long-time Jazz coach Jerry Sloan resigned midway through the 2010-11 season. A second-round draft pick out of DePaul in 1991, Corbin played for nine teams during his 16-year career, appearing in 1,050 games and averaging 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
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Still sporting his trademark mustache, Mike D'Antoni takes the ball down the court for Tracer Milan in their 1987 matchup with the USSR. Besides playing overseas, the current Knicks' coach spent limited time in the NBA with the Kansas City Kings and San Antonio Spurs, where he averaged 3.4 points per game.
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A young George Karl showcases his dribbling skills as a member of Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels in the early 1970s. He joined the ABA's San Antonio Spurs upon graduation, where he played all five seasons in his short professional career.
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The 76ers' coach was also a terrific player in Philadelphia, averaging 17.9 points per game during his eight years with the team. He was named to the All-Star Game four times, though his greatest on-court accomplishment may have come in Munich: Collins was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team that won silver.
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Rivers learned from some of the best during his 13-year playing career, serving as point guard for Pat Riley, Greg Popovich, Larry Brown and Mike Fratello. The lessons have paid off as Rivers has already won two Coach of the Year Awards (Orlando, 2000; Boston, 2008) and one NBA championship.
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Though he hasn't won a championship during his coaching stints with the Pistons, Pacers or Mavericks (which could soon change if the Mavs top the Heat in the 2011 Finals), Rick Carlisle did claim a title while playing guard for the 1986 Celtics. He was used sparingly throughout his five-year career, averaging just 7.8 minutes per game, but was a standout in college. He led the Virginia Cavaliers to the 1984 Final Four.
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Though undersized at 5-foot-11, the scrappy Brooks played 10 seasons for six teams and won a championship with the Rockets in 1994. He took over as head coach of the Thunder a month into the 2008-09 season and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2009-10, when he led an inexperienced Oklahoma City squad to a No. 8 seed of the playoffs and near-upset of the eventual champion Lakers in the first round. The Thunder reached the Western Conference finals in 2011 but lost to the Mavericks, 4-1.
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McMillan earned a reputation as one of the league's toughest defenders during his 12-year career with Seattle, twice earning a spot on the NBA's All-Defense Second Team (1994, 95). After retiring in 1998, McMillan moved to the bench and took over as coach for the Sonics in 2000. He spent five seasons in Seattle, compiling a 212-183 record before moving onto the Trail Blazers in 2005.
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Westphal was a five-time NBA All-Star who averaged 16 points per game during his 12-year career. He also enjoyed immediate success as a coach, guiding Charles Barkley and the Suns to the Finals in his first season, where they lost to the Bulls. Westphal led Phoenix to the playoffs every season of his four-year tenure with the team, but never again reached the Finals. He also coached Seattle and Pepperdine before taking over in Sacramento in 2009.
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Vinny Del Negro
After playing four seasons for Jim Valvano at NC State, Del Negro was drafted by the Kings with the 29th pick of the 1988 NBA Draft and spent 12 seasons as a dependable role player. He became the surprise choice to coach the Bulls in 2008 and led Chicago to an 81-81 record and two first-round playoff berths (both losses). He was fired at the end of last season and hired by the Clippers in July.
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Dubbed the "Little General" for his combination of height and leadership, the 5-foot-10 Avery Johnson spearheaded the Spurs to four consecutive 50-win seasons. He took over the Nets after they won just 12 games in the 2009-10 season. They improved to 24-58 in his first year on the job.
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The Hornets' coach had a respectable NBA career, scoring 2,884 points during his time with the Knicks, Spurs, Nuggets, Magic and 76ers. Relatively quiet most seasons, he was explosive for the 1996-97 Spurs, shooting 50.9 percent from the field. He led the Hornets to a 46-36 record and a first-round matchup with the defending champion Lakers, New Orleans lost, 4-2.
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Before assuming the reins of the Bucks, Skiles enjoyed a 10-year career with Milwaukee, Indiana, Orlando, Washington and Philadelphia. He was known for his court vision, setting the record for assists in a game with 30 on Dec. 30, 1990.
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Reputed for his defensive tenacity, Lionel Hollins earned NBA All-Defensive team honors twice during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers. The current Grizzlies' coach also played for the Sixers, Clippers, Pistons and Rockets during his 10-year career.
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Drew, who played guard for the Pistons, Kings, Clippers and Lakers, averaged 11 points and five assists in his 10 seasons. Drew is currently head coach of the Hawks, whom he led to the 2011 playoffs in his first season on the job.
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A key player for the Showtime Lakers of the '80s, Scott won three titles in Los Angeles before winding down his career in Indiana and Vancouver. Success as a coach came quickly for Scott, who took the New Jersey Nets to consecutive trips to the NBA Finals in his second and third year with the team. After four years in New Jersey, Scott took over the Hornets and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2008. He just finished his first season with Cleveland.
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