Rockin’ NBA Coaches

The National Basketball Association is composed of rock-star coaches who hardly ever get their due. They are a pivotal part of their team’s success, but it got us wondering – how do NBA Coaches compare to some of the biggest musicians ever? If you woke up today wondering the same thing, then you came to the right place, because here are the NBA Coach – famous musician comparisons:

Eastern Conference


Toronto Raptors (Dwane Casey) – Mike Epps

Both Casey and Epps were born in Indianapolis, Indiana – which, if I must say so myself, is a pretty phenomenal city. Much like Epps has excelled in both his rap and comedy careers, Casey as well has excelled as both a player and a coach in the National Basketball Association.

Boston Celtics (Brad Stevens) – Beck

Stevens is widely known as one of the brightest minds in the sport today. I mean, the guy took a mid-major team in Butler to back-to-back NCAA National Championships in 2010 & 11. Beck is an artist that won best album of the year in 2015 at the Grammy’s with a self-written album…that’s intelligence.

New York Knicks (Kurt Rambis) – Buddy Holly

To be completely honest with you, this one is all about the glasses.

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Brooklyn Nets (Tony Brown) – Paul McCartney

No, no – I’m not talking about Paul McCartney from the worldwide renowned supergroup The Beatles. I’m talking about the post-Beatles McCartney who led a group named Wings, which couldn’t ever live up to the hype of his first band. Much of the same is the case with new interim Nets HC Tony Brown. Just as McCartney’s second suaree was rather doomed from the start, so is Brown’s tenure in Brooklyn.

Philadelphia 76ers (Brett Brown) – Bono

Paul Hewson (aka “Bono”) has hit the publications throughout the years with his humanitarian work that he has done throughout the world. Brett Brown, though his career as a coach may be affected by a lackluster roster, is one of the nicest guys in the NBA and deserves his recognition for it.


Cleveland Cavaliers (Tyronn Lue) – Pharell

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Both have stormed onto the scene as the future of their respective industries over the past couple of years. Lue could be an NBA Title winning coach as soon as this season. Just like Lue’s old playing days were reinvigorated by his new gig, Pharell’s new-found success has reinvigorated his 20+ year career.

Chicago Bulls (Fred Hoiberg) – Rivers Cuomo

It feels like no matter who is at the helm for the Bulls, they are going to be successful. The same is true for Cuomo’s band Weezer. It seems like they are always going to be good no matter how old they are.

Indiana Pacers (Frank Vogel) – James Bay

Vogel is currently one of the youngest coaches in the NBA at 40 years old. Bay, a nominee in 2016 for New Artist of the Year at the Grammy’s, has become very successful as well at the ripe age of 25. Both guys have very bright futures in their respective industries.

Detroit Pistons (Stan Van Gundy) – Bob Dylan

Let’s just say it seems to me like both of these guys are no “BS” people after seeing the interactions that each has had with media personnel and others. They’re both extremely successful because of it as well.

Photo Credit: “Bad Teacher”


Milwaukee Bucks (Jason Kidd) – Justin Timberlake

Jason Kidd the player and Justin Timberlake the singer – exceptional talent. Jason Kidd the coach and Justin Timberlake the actor – still yet to be seen.






Atlanta Hawks (Mike Budenholzer) – Darius Rucker

Under the wing of Greg Poppovich, Mike Budenholzer enjoyed immense success. He has carried that success on in his personal career now, leading the Hawks to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2014-15. Darius Rucker did the same with his career, going on from group success with Hootie & the Blowfish to a very productive solo career.

Miami Heat (Erik Spoelstra) – Adam Levine

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No matter what song Adam Levine and Maroon 5 put out, it seems to be a hit. Same goes for Spoelstra’s Heat squad. Now that LeBron is out, it seems like it doesn’t matter. The team is enjoying continued success.

Charlotte Hornets (Steve Clifford) – Justin Bieber

You see, it’s often hard to live up to expectations. For Steve Clifford, his boss is one of the greatest basketball players of all time in Michael Jordan. For Justin Bieber, Usher took him under his wing and has carried him through his career. For the most part, Usher is better than Bieber (expect amongst teenage girls).

Washington Wizards (Randy Wittman) –  Will.I.Am

After so many successful years, both of these guys have kind of faded into the abyss in terms of success. The Black Eyed Peas are not around anymore for Will.I.Am, and the Wizards are struggling in 2015-16.

Orlando Magic (Scott Skiles) – Nasri (Magic!)

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Coaching in the land of Magic is hard, as it has been for Scott Skiles. The “magic” just really hasn’t been there for either guy of late.


Western Conference


Oklahoma City Thunder (Billy Donovan) – Kurt Cobain

It’s hard when you’re the leader of a dynamic trio like Donovan (With Durant and Westbrook) and Cobain (Nirvana). Let’s just hope the former meets a better demise than Cobain.

Portland Blazers (Terry Stotts) – Sam Smith

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Pure genius – that’s the best way to describe Stotts and Smith. They make it work in any way they can, and the result is pretty superb.

Utah Jazz (Quinn Snyder) – Tyler Joseph

It seems like the Jazz are just one piece away from being a top-tier team. On the same level, before their recent album, Twenty One Pilots seemed on the edge of stardom. Well, they have that stardom now. Snyder is still looking for that last piece.

Denver Nuggets (Mike Malone) – Bob Marley

To avoid controversy, just do the math yourself on this one. It’s pretty simple. What do Denver and Bob Marley have in common?

Minnesota Timberwolves (Sam Mitchell) – B.o.B

Wouldn’t it be something for Sam Mitchell to drop a beat spontaneously during a presser one day? Let’s just say the reason I have him compared to B.o.B is because I want him to spit some bars.


Golden State Warriors (Steve Kerr) – Elvis

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Elvis is still “The King” and he isn’t even doing anything. Likewise, Steve Kerr has got his ring as a coach and he doesn’t even have to do hardly anything to Coach. That’s just how good the Warriors are.

Los Angeles Clippers (Doc Rivers) – Rod Stewart

Uh, have you heard both of their voices?

Sacramento Kings (George Karl) – Stevie Wonder

Both of these guys have had to overcome severe adversity in their career and they have done so admirably. Karl? He overcame cancer in 2013. Stevie Wonder? I mean, the guy is blind and is still one of the greatest artists of all time.

Phoenix Suns (Earl Watson) – Rik Carey (Baha Men)

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Earl Watson had one “good” season as an NBA player in 2006 with the Seattle Supersonics. Rik Carey’s Baha Men produced one “good” hit (“Who Let the Dogs Out”) in 2000.

Los Angeles Lakers (Byron Scott) – Mike Love (Beach Boys)

These two require you to ask yourself the same question. Byron Scott is STILL coaching in the NBA? The Beach Boys are STILL playing music? Yup.


San Antonio Spurs (Greg Poppovich) – Mick Jagger

The Spurs are the oldest team in the NBA and are still putting out fantastic results. The Rolling Stones have been around since 1962 and are still killing the game. Both are headlined by some pretty decent stars.

Memphis Grizzlies (David Joerger) – Chris Martin

Chris Martin consistently has Coldplay in the conversation as one of the top bands. I mean, come on, they played on one of the biggest stages this year at the 2016 Super Bowl in San Francisco. Much of the same for David Joerger & Co. in Memphis. They consistently have the Griz in the midst of the conversation for the NBA Title come late April & May.

Dallas Mavericks (Rick Carlisle) – Jim Carey

Photo Credit: Reddit

No, Jim Carey isn’t technically a musician. However, in the movie “Yes Man,” he does preform the song “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind. This comparison is more about the fact that these two could be identical twins.

Houston Rockets (J.P. Bickerstaff) – Ziggy Marley

When you’re the son of a former star in the business, it’s pretty hard to follow in your father’s footsteps. Both have had the same struggle.

New Orleans Pelicans (Alvin Gentry) – Nate Ruess

When you leave something good (Gentry: the Warriors, Ruess: Fun.) it’s hard to follow up what you once had. Gentry has had troubles with the Pelicans just as Ruess has had struggles with his newfound solo career.

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