The game of basketball has been a favorite in the world of professional sports for a decades and has only seemed to garner a more cult-like following as time goes by. From the golden days of billionaire businessman Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson to “King” Lebron James, Steph Curry, and the the outspoken Kyrie Irving, these names and more have been the reason why die-hard fans remain loyal to basketball. However, while it makes sense that the richest basketball players are the face of the sport and the stars on the court, they would be nothing without the training of their coaches. So in celebration of them. here are 10 of the highest-paid NBA coaches in 2022.
9 Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) – $11.5 Million
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Known as “coach pop” or “pop” by his champion basketball team, Gregg Popovich was born in East Chicago, Indiana and has long been fascinated with the sport of basketball. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he was encouraged by his parents to play basketball at an early age and was part of the Biddy Basketball All-Star team that placed third in the World Tournament. He even captained the school basketball team during his time spent at the United States Air Force Academy. Popovich first joined the San Antonio Spurs in 1988 as an assistant coach. After a brief leave from the team, he returned in 1994 as the General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations. Today, Popovich is the highest-paid NBA coach with a salary of $11.5 million and a net worth of $40 million.
8 Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers) – $10 Million
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Born in Chicago, Illinois, Doc Rivers has also had an extensive stint as a player in the NBA. He was first drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 1983 where he played alongside the team star Dominique Wilkins until leaving in 1991. He would then play as a starter for the Los Angeles Clippers for one year until 1992 and then for the New York Knicks until 1994. He ended his professional career as a player in 1996 after playing for the San Antonio Spurs for two years before switching careers and becoming a coach for the Orlando Magic Team. Doc would later coach the Boston Celtics from 2004-2013 and the Los Angeles Clippers from 2013-2020 until moving to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he currently hold the position of head coach. His salary has also increased over the years, and now he earns $10 million with a net worth of $60 million.
7 Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors) – $9.5 Million
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It has to be a dream come true to eventually end up coaching the same basketball team you played for during the prime of your career. Such was the convenient case for the head of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr. But it’s safe to say that at 57 years old, he has accrued enough experience on the court to hold the position he currently has. Aside from winning four NBA championships as the head coach with the Warriors, he has also won five titles as a player, three with the Chicago Bulls (where he played alongside the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan) and two with the San Antonio Spurs. Kerr can be proud to say he’s leading the team with basketball superstars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, which is why his salary as a coach is $9.5 million!
6 Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat) – $8.5 Million
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As one of the younger coaches on this list, Erik Spoelstra is an Asian-American born in Evanston, Illinois. Unlike many other NBA coaches, Spoelstra didn’t start coaching with years a experience as a player for other popular basketball teams. Nevertheless, he played on the Pilot’s team for the University of Portland as a starting point guard for four years. One year later, he worked as a player-assistant coach for TuS Herten, which is a professional basketball club in Westphalia, Germany. He would then be offered an opportunity to coach the youth basketball team, while simultaneously being offered a position at the Miami Heat. According to Bleacher Report, he joined the Heat staff as a video coordinator in 1995. Years later in 2003, he was promoted to assistant coach and even helped NBA star Dwyane Wade enhance his game. It wasn’t until 2008 that the then-Heat coach, Pat Riley, picked Spoelstra to be his successor, and today, he enjoys an $8.5 million salary.
5 Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks) – $8.5 Million
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From the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, Jason Kidd’s name rang bells throughout the NBA League. Born in San Francisco, California is 1973, Kidd began his professional career as a basketball player in 1994 when he was first drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, where he was picked over retired NBA player Grant Hill. He was then traded to the Phoenix Suns where he played from 1996-2001. Kid would then play for the New Jersey Nets (2001-2008) before returning to the Mavericks from 2008-2012. Subsequent to that, he would spend one year with the New York Knicks before beginning his coaching career. Kidd coached almost as many teams as he played, which includes the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Dallas Mavericks, which he currently coaches for a slam dunk salary of $8.5 million.
4 Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks) – $8 Million
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If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. That’s why Michael Budenholzer, known commonly as Coach Bud, was tutored by fellow coach Gregg Popovich while he occupied the position of assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs from 1996-2013. His career as an actual player only consisted of his time in Pomona college where he was recognized as an Outstanding Senior athlete in basketball and golf. Following his time with the Spurs, his first head coaching job came in 2013 with the Atlanta Hawks, according to AS Online Sports Newspaper. He stayed there until 2018 when he was signed to the Milwaukee Bucks where he and Giannis Antetokounmpo led the team to an NBA Championship in 2021. He enjoys a hefty salary of $8 million.
3 Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors) – $8 Million
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Nick Nurse is a native of Iowa and out of all the coaches on the list, has the least experience as a professional basketball player. He played for the Derby Rams for the British Basketball League from 1990-1991, which was also the first time he coached during that period. However, he decided to never play professionally again and opted to pursue a fulltime basketball coaching career. But despite his limited experience as a pro basketballer, his early decision to coach landed him his first job at Grand View University at 23 years old. After leading multiple teams in the NBA D-League to victory, he acted as the assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors from 2013-2018 before becoming the head coach in 2018, a position he still occupies, earning him $8 million.
2 Steve Nash (Brooklyn Nets) – $8 Million
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Steve Nash is one of the most decorated and experienced professional basketball players to become a coach on this list. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, his family moved to and settled in the Canadian province of British Columbia when he was just a baby. He didn’t get his athletic genes too far off, since his dad played professional soccer worldwide. Nash played basketball rigorously in high school and college after being offered a scholarship by the Santa Clara University. While playing for the Broncos, Nash trained with established NBA players Gary Payton and Jason Kidd before being drafter to the Phoenix Suns in 1996. He later played for the Dallas Mavericks (1998-2004) beside Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley during the time when billionaire Mark Cuban bought the team. Nash also played for the Los Angeles Lakers (2012-2015) before becoming the head coach for the Brooklyn Nets in 2020 until presently. And he has no complaints with his new position and an $8 million salary to take care of him.
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Sources: AS Online Sports News Paper, Bleacher Report, Celebrity Net Worth
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