Top 10 NBA Assistant Coaches: What They Once Earned As Players


They say behind every man there’s a strong woman, but in the NBA’s case, next to every great head coach, is an even greater assistant coach. At times, assistant coaches don’t get the recognition they deserve and they tend to be overshadowed by head coaches. But since it all comes down to the money, how much do assistants really get paid to sit on the bench and do all the work?

The NBA tends to be secretive about the current salaries of assistant coaches. Besides, they aren’t even allowed to speak to the media because they probably know about all the NBA’s dirty laundry. Well, maybe.

Here’s what we know: Mike Malone, now the head coach of the Sacramento Kings was said to be the highest-earning assistant last season, banking $750,000 with the Golden State Warriors.  After Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd, let go of Lawrence Frank late last year, reports swirled that he was the league’s top-paid assistant in the NBA for the 2013-2014 season. Frank was given a four-year deal worth more than $1 million a season. The Pistons still owe Frank $4 million for next year following his discharge after two seasons, but his salary with Brooklyn will be deducted from Detroit.

Here’s a list of 10 popular assistant coaches who were players before they donned suits and clipboards and who are probably making significantly less money than they once did on the court.

10. Ime Udoka – San Antonio Spurs – Career Player Salary: $3.9 million

Seen sitting to the left of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Ome Udoka is probably most known for his romance with actress Nia Long, because he made less than $4 million in the NBA. The small forward got his start in the league in 2003 after he signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was waived. During the 2006-2007 season he signed a free agency contract with the Portland Trail Blazers for $744,551 for one year. For the remainder of his professional playing time in the league, he continued to sign free agency deals. Udoka ended his career with the San Antonio Spurs after 2009-2011 with a $264,232 contract.