Per usual, Kevin Pelton absolutely kills it on the knowledge tip with this thorough-as-hell breakdown of coaching lineages. Essentially, it’s a look at who spawned who (whom?) in the coaching ranks, complete with the actual breakdown of who (whom?) served as assistants for whom (who?) and an analysis of the coaching styles propagated by the patriarch.
Here’s the “Dean Smith Coaching Tree” section, for example, which is just a meager sampling from this utter beast of hoopology academia.
Dean Smith Coaching Tree
Trademarks: Above-average pace, underrated defenses, depth
Current Head Coaches: Larry Brown, George Karl
Other Notables: Billy Cunningham, Matt Doherty, Doug Moe, Roy Williams
Brown Branch: Maurice Cheeks, Gregg Popovich
Karl Branch: Nate McMillan
Popovich Sub-Branch: Mike Brown, P.J. Carlesimo
One way or another, nearly a quarter of the NBA’s head coaches can trace their lineage back to the legendary North Carolina coach, which is not surprising given that Smith coached more NBA talent than any of his peers during his time on the sidelines. Smith’s direct influence seems to be waning, at least at the NBA level. Few of North Carolina’s alumni from the ’80s and ’90s have turned to the sidelines, with several instead going into broadcasting (Brad Daugherty, Hubert Davis and Kenny Smith, most prominently). The notable exception is Milwaukee assistant Joe Wolf, a potential future head coach.
Where Smith’s coaching tree continues to grow is from something of a rogue offshoot–Brown, who shares few common traits with the other Carolina guys. If Brown was considered the head of his own coaching tree, which might make more sense stylistically, he becomes more influential than his mentor and has arguably the league’s strongest tree. Brown disciple Popovich has built a strong tree in his own right, one which in addition to Brown and Carlesimo includes Avery Johnson and up-and-coming Portland assistant Monty Williams.
Karl’s coaching tree is also stronger than his lone current protégé would imply; Dallas assistants Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts, both of them former head coaches, worked under Karl as assistants in Seattle.
Just a stunning display.
Cause reading is fundomentle.