Where does Nick Nurse rank among NBA coaches?

Toronto Raptors - Nick Nurse (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Nick Nurse (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
2 of 7
Toronto Raptors
Ryan Arcidiacono and Fred VanVleet (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The “First-Timers” Tier

The “First-Timers” tier isn’t necessarily just the coaches that have only one year of head coaching under their belt. If that was the case, Nurse would be among these guys as well. As said earlier, Nurse doesn’t seem like a first-time head coach. As well, some coaches still seem like a first-time head coach even if they’ve been head coaches for some time now.

Here are the coaches in the “First-Timers” tier in alphabetical order by team:

  • Lloyd Pierce – Atlanta Hawks
  • James Borrego – Charlotte Hornets
  • Jim Boylen – Chicago Bulls
  • John Beilein – Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Taylor Jenkins – Memphis Grizzlies
  • Ryan Saunders – Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Luke Walton – Sacramento Kings

These coaches all have something in common: We have no idea whether or not they are actually good yet.

Coaches John Beilein and Taylor Jenkins are new for the upcoming season, so they haven’t coached in the NBA yet. Additionally, they have teams with low expectations in regards to success, so it will be hard to judge them even after next season.

Weirdly enough, as both gear up for their rookie NBA coaching careers, Beilein is over thirty years older than Jenkins. Meaning, both will likely have a far different approach to the game. It will be interesting to keep track of both, however, to see who ultimately can make a name for himself within the coaching ranks.

The other coaches in this tier we just don’t have enough evidence to support where they rank. Borrego and Pierce just finished their first full season; Saunders and Boylen finished last season after replacing their respective head coaches; Luke Walton has bounced from an interim head coach with the Warriors in Kerr’s absence to head coach of the Lakers and, finally, to the Kings. While he may perhaps have the most experience, it’s been under wishy-washy circumstances.

All these coaches just need more evidence to prove their worth or lack thereof and this upcoming season will be telling for a majority of them.