The Utah Jazz announced Wednesday that Hall of Famer Karl Malone will join the franchise's coaching staff in some capacity to help mentor the team's big men. Earlier in the week, one of Malone's former teammates, Jeff Hornacek, was hired as the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
Hornacek, previously an assistant in Utah, and Malone are part of a long list of former players turned coaches.
According to a study done by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, former basketball players who had long careers, or were selected as All-Stars, had statistically higher winning percentages as head coaches.
"Having a former All-Star player as your coach is worth about six extra places in the NBA rankings in team winning percentage," said Larry Kahn, a professor of labor economics and collective bargaining at Cornell’s ILR School. "We were surprised at the strength of the statistical evidence."
Using data from 15,000 basketball games between 1996 and 2004, researchers found that teams coached by former NBA All-Stars had an average winning percentage of .495, while coaches who were not All-Stars had an average winning percentage of .376.
As Hornacek and Malone assume new coaching positions, here is a list of NBA players turned head coaches.
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