LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, Adrian Peterson, Lamar Odom – the coaches who made the best NBA teams of the 2000s

NY Knickerbockers chairman James Dolan (No 5 on the list) experienced a lifetime of frustration trying to keep players who wanted to leave team New York in 2001. #2 – Mark Cuban, Mavericks He’s…

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, Adrian Peterson, Lamar Odom - the coaches who made the best NBA teams of the 2000s

NY Knickerbockers chairman James Dolan (No 5 on the list) experienced a lifetime of frustration trying to keep players who wanted to leave team New York in 2001.

#2 – Mark Cuban, Mavericks

He’s the “owner” of the 2006 EIF-ESPN Muhammad Ali Legacy Awards Dinner .com Executive of the Year honoree and 6-time NBA Champion, all while being his own executive VP for the NBA in one way or another for 29 years.

FIVE OTHER COACHES VOTED IN THE 100

No.50 Fred Hoiberg, Bulls

#48 Gregg Popovich, Spurs

#45 Greg Popovich, Spurs

#44 Tom Thibodeau, Bulls

#41 Doc Rivers, Clippers

All five coaches showed signs of excellence in the early 2000s as well.

The first to do so, by a large margin, is now in the top ten of this section.

The other coaches were nowhere near as accomplished, and some were even worse than he was.

Kidd rode this wave to become a Hall of Famer, but it took him five years after the first Magic/Kidd backcourt, as evidenced by his career on-court accomplishments. He has fewer playoff wins than he had the first time around, and was never again to reach the NBA Finals.

Kidd was an unknown when he agreed to come to Dallas in 1999, and he didn’t make the playoffs until 2001. Over that span he had a lot of fun in Houston, but he always had a Texas accent that was hard to hear over all the noise of the entertainment industry.

Before Kidd came to New York in 2001 the Knicks had lost 17 players to free agency over the previous four years. Well over a dozen had signed deals in the early-to-mid 2000s and the team was held together by a glue of two players.

Kidd was supposed to join them. The two sides came to terms on a deal on 29 September, but as the Knicks were negotiating, Kidd developed an illness. He was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in his back on 2 October, and underwent surgery on 3 November.

He returned to the court on 5 December. It was the most effective season of his career with 18.2 points, 9.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds in nearly 30 minutes per game, but the Knicks lost in the first round of the playoffs, having to watch other teams march to the championship.

After three more years on the sidelines a deal was finally struck on 4 December, 2001. Injuries and an oppressive salary cap scared the franchise away from signing a star like Kobe Bryant in 2002, and they instead settled for fringe guys like Travis Knight, David Wingate and Frank Williams.

Kidd always competed in the 3-point contest during All-Star Weekend at Staples Center, and he shocked the league that season with the first 50-assist performance in NBA history.

His time with the Dallas Mavericks was marred by the Shaq/Kobe drama, but the team advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

The three-time NBA All-Star and co-founder of the Gatorade Sharpshooter Challenge was an unofficial coach of that team and consistently gave some of the best defensive performances of his career.

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