If you watched the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night chances are you saw a very animated and engaged Giannis Antetokounmpo on the sidelines coaching his team. While that’s not entirely surprising given Antetokounmpo’s competitive nature, it was pretty entertaining given his team consisted of an NFL player, comedian, actor, rapper and tennis star, among many others.
But after the game, in which Antetokounmpo coached Dwayne Wade’s team to a 81-78 win over Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith’s team, the two-time MVP gave some insight into what he envisions for himself after his playing days are over.
“I was in it — I wanted to win,” Antetokounmpo said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Afterward, when I retire, I want to be a head coach. A lot of people don’t know that about me, but I want to be a head coach. I really want to be. It’s kind of hard, because you have no control. And, I know the game of basketball, I know how to play the game of basketball, so it’s hard.”
If Antetokounmpo went down that route he would join the many former NBA players that have been head coaches in the league. Today there’s currently 12 former NBA players who are head coaches, and throughout history many former players have experienced great success in that role. The most decorated NBA coach in league history, Phil Jackson, was a former player in the league, and he went on to win 11 titles spanning three decades.
Jackson is obviously the peak of former player turned head coach, and we’ve certainly seen that not all great NBA players make excellent coaches. It’s difficult to say where Giannis would fall on that spectrum, but given he’s already expressed interest in leading a team from the bench, then we’ll likely see how well he does whenever he decides to retire.