The NBA isn’t exactly a league that preaches for coaching stability. In fact, only four teams: The Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs have a head coach that’s been at the job for more than three seasons, as Erik Spoelstra, Scott Brooks and Rick Carlisle have been at the job since the 2008-2009 season, while Gregg Popovich has been with the Spurs since the 1996-1997 season.
Spoelstra has just won his second consecutive NBA title, and holds a record of 260-134 (66%) since becoming the head coach of the Miami Heat. Carlisle has been in the NBA since 2001-2002, but he’s with the Mavs for the last five seasons, posting a 239-155 record (60.6%), winning the NBA title in 2011. Scott Brooks has a 234-147 (60.6%) record with the Thunder (61.4%), reaching the NBA finals in 2012.
Popovich is in a league of his own when it comes to seniority on the same team. He has been the head coach of the Spurs since 1996, posting a 905-423 record (68.1%), winning four NBA titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007) and losing in the 2013 finals.
Other than that? Teams can’t hold on to their head coaches, like Doc Rivers wanting out of his contract with the Celtics, leaving to the Los Angeles Clippers, because he wasn’t looking for being involved in a rebuilding project. Rivers was never actually involved in a rebuilding project – his team tanked for one season (2006-2007), and then got a bail out with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett arriving.
Larry Drew was the head coach of the Hawks for the last three seasons, with a 128-102 record, making the playoffs on all three seasons. His contract wasn’t renewed, and Mike Budenholzer will be the team’s next head coach. Drew, in the meantime, signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Larry Brown was fired midway through the 2010-2011 season after leading the team to the postseason for the first time ever on the previous season. He was replaced by Paul Silas, lasting two seasons with the team, posting a 32-88 record. He was replaced by Mike Dunlap, lasting only one season, a 21-61 campaign. Steve Clifford will take the job next.
Stan Van Gundy was the team’s head coach from 2007 to 2012, but was fired after last season, leaving a record of 259-135 and one NBA finals (in 2009). He was replaced with Jacque Vaughn, who went through a terrible season, winning only 20 games.
Flip Saunders was the team’s head coach from 2009 to 2012, but was fired midway through the 2011-2012 season, posting a 2-15 starting record. He was replaced by Randy Wittman, who has gone 47-84 since.
Thibodeau has been the head coach of the Bulls since 2010, posting a 157-73 record since taking over the team.
Byron Scott was the head coach for the Cavs in the post-LeBron era, posting a disappointing 64-166 record. He was followed by Mike Brown, the man he replaced, who was fired from the Los Angeles Lakers at the beginning of the season.
John Kuester was the head coach for two seasons, beginning in 2009, finishing with a 57-107 record. He was followed by Lawrence Frank in the next two seasons with a 54-94 record. Frank was fired, and has now been replaced by Maurice Cheeks.
Jim O’Brien was the head coach for nearly four seasons, fired midway through the 2010-2011 campaign. He was replaced by Frank Vogel, winning 60% of his games since then, making the playoffs every year.
Scott Skiles was the head coach of the Bucks from 2008 to 2013 (finishing with a 162-182 record), but was fired in 2013, replaced by Jim Boylan, who led the Bucks to the playoffs despite going 22-28 with the team. After getting swept in the first round, he didn’t get a new contract, and Larry Drew got the job.
Jason Kidd becomes the third head coach for the Nets in less than a year, as Avery Johnson was fired at the beginning of this season, followed by P.J. Carlesimo, who did very well with the team (35-19), but was fired for losing in the first round of the playoffs.
New York Knicks
Mike D’Antoni was fired in the middle of the 2011-2012 season, replaced by Mike Woodson. Since then, Woodson has led the team to the postseason twice, also winning a playoff series in 2013, something that hasn’t happened in over a decade. He’s 72-34 since getting the job.
Doug Collins was the head coach for three straight seasons, posting a 110-120 record with the team, making the playoffs twice. He remains with the team as an adviser, but still no replacement has been named.
After Jay Triano was fired in 2011, Dwyane Casey got the job as the Raptors’ head coach. He has gone to post a 57-91 record, which hasn’t stopped him from keeping his job.
McHale will begin his third season with the Rockets next year after replacing Rick Adelman in 2011. McHale had his first ever winning season as a head coach in 2012-2013, finishing with a 45-37 record, making the playoff and getting knocked out in the first round.
Lionel Hollins was the head coach since 2009, posting a 196-155 record and is the only HC in franchise history to win a playoff series (three, in fact). He was fired after the team’s best season ever, and still hasn’t been replaced.
New Orleans Pelicans
Monty Williams will begin his fourth season as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2013-2014. He has a 94-136 record with the team, not winning more than 27 games since Chris Paul left in a season.
Golden State Warriors
Mark Jackson replaced Keith Smart (who lasted only one season) in 2011. After a rough first year (23-43), Jackson had a huge improvement in 2013, finishing with a 47-35 record and making the conference semifinals.
Los Angeles Clippers
Vinny Del Negro was the head coach for three consecutive seasons, posting a 210-184 record, but his playoff exits came in a time when expectations from the Clippers, for the first time ever, were quite high, resulting in his dismissal. Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics replaced him.
Los Angeles Lakers
Another team that’s been busy. After getting swept by the Mavericks in 2011, Phil Jackson stepped down as the head coach, replaced by Mike Brown. Brown lasted a shortened season and a few more games before being fired. Bernie Bickerstaff replaced him for five games (4-1) before Mike D’Antoni took over, as the Lakers made the playoffs eventually, but got swept in the first round.
Alvin Gentry was the team’s head coach from 2009 to 2013, but was fired midway through last season, replaced by Lindsey Hunter for 41 games. Jeff Hornacek was named to be the team’s next head coach.
After Paul Westphal was fired in 2012, Keith Smart got the reins in the California capitol, posting a 48-93 record and fired at the end of last season. Mike Malone will be the team’s next head coach.
George Karl was the head coach of the Nuggets for nine straight seasons, making the playoffs every time. The problem was he got past the first round only once, resulting in a surprising firing this month, with the Nuggets still not finding someone to replace him with.
After Kurt Rambis was fired in 2011 (thanks to his terrible 32-132 record), Rick Adelman took over, so far posting a 57-91 record, going through countless injury to pretty much every key player he has at least once.
Portland Trail Blazers
Nate McMillan was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2005 until midway through the 2011-2012 season before getting fired. He was replace by Kaleb Canales for 23 games, and Terry Stotts took over the team last season (33-49), carrying on with the team for another year.
Jerry Sloan was the team’s head coach from 1988 till 2011, when Deron Williams helped Sloan reach the decision of resigning, citing not having enough energy left as the main reason. He was replaced by Tyrone Corbin, going on to win 49.4% of his games since then, carrying on into his second full season.