highest paid nba coach

Highest-Paid NBA Coaches – The Top 8

NBA players usually make the headlines for their massive salaries. It’s no secret that the best and highest-paid NBA coaches in the league are also paid to bring their knowledge, strategies, and experience to teams. This is in order to guide their team to victory by making the playoffs and ultimately trying to win the Championship. It is reported by SportingFree that the annual compensation of an NBA coach is often determined by their level of competence.

The compensation for those who have not yet demonstrated their effectiveness may be as high as $2.2 million per year, while the compensation for coaches with “intermediate” expertise may be as high as $2.8 million. In accordance with the publication, “professional” coaches can earn between \$3 million and \$5 million per year, while top NBA coaches can earn between \$7 million and \$11 million.

Top 8 Highest Paid Coaches…

#1 – Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich is one of the NBA’s most efficient coaches. Despite his high-profile status, he is still well-liked by Spurs fans. He is also the highest-paid NBA coach in the league.

He has been the coach of the San Antonio Spurs since 1996. As the NBA’s longest-serving coach, his experience is unmatched, which justifies his enormous compensation. Popovich also has the most wins in NBA history, topping all other coaches.

Popovich and the Spurs have won five NBA championships, and Popovich has stated that he plans to win more in the future.

On March 27, 2021, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will join George Karl and Pat Riley as the only NBA coaches to coach 1900 games. 

To summarize, Gregg Popovich is definitely a great NBA coach, and his remuneration matches his expertise.

highest paid nba coach

#2 – Steve Nash

Steve Nash is a former professional basketball player and current head coach for the Brooklyn Nets. Nash entered the NBA in 1996 as an undrafted free agent, playing for the Phoenix Suns until 2004. He then played for the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2015.

Nash announced his retirement from playing on March 29, 2015. On September 3, 2020 he was named as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and currently has a salary of $9.2 million.

#3 – Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers is an American basketball coach and former player. He is the current head coach and president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. As a player he was known for great defense and he carried that over into his coaching.

He played for several teams in his 14-year NBA career, including the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs. Rivers began his coaching career with the Magic in 1999 and then the Celtics in 2004 was later named Coach of the Year in 2008. He then joined the Clippers in 2013 and then the 76ers in 2020

Rivers’ annual salary as head coach and president of basketball operations for the 76ers is $8 million.

#4 – Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He is the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Also, Carlisle is the highest-paid NBA coach.

He played for five teams in his 10-year NBA career, the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Detroit Pistons. Carlisle began his coaching career with the Pistons in 2001 and was later named Coach of the Year in 2004. He then joined the Mavericks in 2008.

Carlisle’s annual salary as head coach of the Mavericks is $9 million.

#5 – Erik Spoelstra

Erik Spoelstra is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He previously served as an assistant coach for the Heat from 2003 to 2008. In 2008, he succeeded Pat Riley as head coach of the team.

Spoelstra has led the Heat to four NBA Finals appearances, winning two championships in 2012 and 2013.

In October 2018, Spoelstra signed a five-year contract extension with the Miami Heat.

highest paid nba coach

#6 – Terry Stotts

A former head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. Before joining the Bucks in 2006, he worked for the Atlanta Hawks. Stotts took over as head coach of the Blazers in 2012 and has been with the team since. Since joining the Blazers in 2013, he has guided them to three post-season berths, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2019. Stotts was earning $5 million per year when he was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.

#7 – Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. Before that, he was coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He previously served as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

Lue was promoted to head coach of the Cavaliers in January 2016, after David Blatt was fired. In his first year and second year as head coach, he led the Cavaliers to playoffs where the Golden State Warriors defeated them each time. Lue was fired by Cleveland in 2018 and went to the LA Clippers. 

Lue’s annual salary as head coach is $7 million.

#8 – Michael Malone

Michael Malone is the head coach of the Denver Nuggets. He was formerly an assistant coach for the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State Warriors. He was nominated for NBA Coach of the Year.

Malone became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings in 2013 but was fired after two seasons. He then became the head coach of the Nuggets in 2015. Malone’s annual salary as head coach of the Nuggets is $4 million.

Final Thoughts

There are many great and successful coaches in the NBA, but these eight guys are among the highest-paid NBA coaches in the league. They have all had tremendous success with their teams, and they have done it year after year after year. Coaching in the NBA is a highly competitive and financially rewarding profession, and these coaches deserve to be compensated for their efforts and passion for the game.

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