In the National Basketball Association (NBA), head coaches rank as the highest position in the coaching staff. Head coaches in the NBA are also the highest paid coaches in amateur and professional sports in North America. Coaches with higher percentage of winning earn more money than those with terrible win-loss record. At this time, there are 30 NBA head coaches in the league but only the top 10 will be enlisted as the highest paid coaches in the NBA.
10 Scott Skiles (Milwaukee Bucks): $4.5 million
The current head coach of the Milwaukee bucks, former head coach of teams such as Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls, and a former NBA player with a height of 6’1’’. His most remarkable award as a professional basketball player is that he holds the NBA record for most number of assists in a single game with 30. He also won the NBA most improved player award in the 1990-1991 season. In 2012, he received a salary of $4.5 million dollars, for having a win-loss record of 31-35. His team Milwaukee Bucks finished 3rd in central division, 9th place in the eastern conference and failed to reach playoffs.
9 Stan Van Gundy (Orlando Magic): $4.5 million
Stan Van Gundy was the head coach of the Orlando Magic from 2007-2012. He was also a former head coach of the Miami Heat from 2003-2005. His greatest achievement as an NBA head coach was in 2009, wherein he led the team to 59 wins, and clinched the Southeast division consecutively. He also led the team to NBA finals but lost in five games. In the 2011-2012 season, his contract was set as $4.5 million but soon got fired on May 21, 2012 because of a rumor that he had a feud with the team center Dwight Howard.
8 8.Mike Brown (Los Angeles Lakers): $4.5 million
Mike Brown was the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and was known as a defensive-minded coach. He led the team to the 2007 NBA finals, received the NBA coach of the year in 2009 and had the league best record in 2010 with 61 wins. Consecutive losses in the playoffs have relieved him of his duties as the team’s head coach and then he was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2011-2012 season. He made $4.5 million by finishing 1st in the Pacific division, 3rd in the Western Conference with a record of 41-25, and later lost in the second round of playoffs.
7 Rick Carlisle (Dallas Mavericks): $4.5 million
Rick Carlisle is the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. He is also a former professional NBA player and one of the few people to win a championship as a player and a head coach. The 2010-2011 season was the most successful year for him as a head coach. He led the team to win the first championship of the entire franchise by defeating the Miami Heat in six games. Following that season, the team finished 7th place in the west, wherein Carlisle earned $4.5 million as the head coach. The Dallas Mavericks was eliminated in the first round in the playoffs by a remarkable sweep.
6 Flip Saunders (Washington Wizards): $4.8 million
Flip Saunders was the head coach of the Washington Wizards from 2009-2012. On April 14, 2009, he agreed to sign a 4-year $18million contract as the team’s head coach. However, Saunders was not successful to coach the team for the entire season when he was fired in January 2012. Overall, he finished coaching the Washington Wizards having a record of 51-130. The team failed to reach playoffs under Saunder’s coaching.
5 Rick Adelman (Minnesota Timberwolves): $5 million
Rick Adelman is a former professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was also the former head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets. On September 13, 2011, Adelman was hired as the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach. In 2011-2012 season, he made $5 million despite the failure of the team to reach the playoffs. The team finished 5th in the northwest division and 12th in the conference having a win-loss percentage of 39.4.
4 Nate McMillan (Portland Trail Blazers): $5.5 million
Nate McMillan was a former NBA player and was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 1986. McMillan leads the NBA in steals per game in the 1993-94 season. He retired in 1998 and began coaching in 2000 for the team that drafted him. In 2005, the Portland Trail Blazers hired him as the head coach. In the 2011-2012 season, he was supposed to make $5.5 million but he was fired in the mid season due to the team’s poor performance. The team did not reach the playoffs and finished the season with a devastating 7-game losing streak.
3 Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs): $6 million
In 1996, Greg Popovich took over as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs and until now, he is the team’s head coach. Popovich is the longest hired coach in the NBA, as well as the other major sports league such as NFL, NHL and MLB. In his tenure as the San Antonio Spurs head coach, he won four championships, in the year 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007.in 2012, Popovich earned $6 million for winning the NBA coach of the year award which he already had in 2003. He led the team to the league best having a record of 50-16. However, the team lost in the conference finals.
2 Mike D’Antoni (New York Knicks): $6 million
In 2005, Mike D’Antoni won the NBA coach of the year for leading the Phoenix Suns 33 wins more than the team’s former record. D’Antoni was also known for his fast paced offense oriented system entitled "Seven Seconds or Less" which made the Suns a formidable team in their playoff run. However, due to consecutive loses in to the Spurs in the playoffs, D’Antoni was fired and moved to Knicks in 2008 for a 4-year, $24 million as the Knicks' head coach. In the 2012 season, D’Antoni was fired and replaced by the assistant coach Mike Woodson because of the team’s poor start at 18-24 and a feud with the Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.
1 Doc Rivers (Boston Celtics): $7 million
Doc rivers was known for his tight defense as a professional basketball player, and then brought his defensive minded style as the head coach of the Boston Celtics. His best season as a player was in 1987, wherein he averaged a double-double with 12.8 points per game and10.0 assist per game. He began coaching in the year 1999 and in 2004; he was hired by the Boston Celtics. He led the franchise to their 17th championship in 2008. Before the 2011-2012 season, rumors are reported that he would retire, but On May 13, 2011, he signed a multi-million contract which made him the highest paid coach in NBA with $7million.
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