The Best Dressed Coaches in the NBA



Leadership counts for a lot. Even great actors need a good director to provide focus, goals and a hook. An excellent coach is essential for a team to stay competitive and win.

Players, of course, are important, but they’re parts of a whole, and it’s the coach that makes the ensemble greater than the sum of its parts.

The fashionable and stylish ballers are the whole reason for this site’s existence, and there are some damn snazzy dressers in the NBA. Here are four coaches who put them to shame.

Byron Scott


Byron Scott is a well-dressed man. Even as the Cavaliers head into a sustained losing streak, his wardrobe remains unflappable. The 18th coach for the Cavaliers, Scott was brought in to rebuild the team, and he leads the way in style.


He tends to focus on subtly matching colours. A good example is this pinstripe suit and white shirt neatly complimenting a striped tie.


Taking on the press, Scott looks great in this Italian cut charcoal suit and blue patterned tie, with matching handkerchief.


Even off the court, Scott looks smart. At the February after-party for HBO’s premiere of Magic & Bird: Courtship of Rivals, Scott wore this dark blue blazer contrasting with a light blue ribbed shirt.

Matching him in style at the party was Magic Johnson, in a startling silver three-piece, set against a gold tie.

As he goes forward with his stint as the coach of the Cavs, Scott remains one of the best dressed coaches in the NBA. Among other things, he goes down in history as one of the few men in the world who can rock a tiny mustache.

Don Nelson


Speaking of facial hair, let’s talk about former coach Don Nelson for a moment.

We mentioned Scott’s mustache above, so we should point out that Nelson has one of those Michael Gambon-esque faces that could easily wear a great beard. Instead, he’s stayed shaven for most of his career, depriving fans of glorious Phil Jackson-style whiskers.

That said, he was still one of the best dressed coaches in the NBA. Although he resigned as of last September as coach of the Warriors, Nelson still makes this list for the very fact that it may actually be impossible for him to not look sharp. In nearly every game he has showed up as the very soul of dapper dressing.

His style is carefully complimenting layers of colours. For example, here Nelson gives instructions to the Warriors in a cleanly tailored charcoal jacket over a tasteful dark blue shirt.

And check out this killer silver pinstriped suit neatly contrasting with a black shirt.

His style forgoes bold colours in favour of a clean, professional look working with shades. But if you like colour, don’t worry: our next two coaches have got it covered.

Avery Johnson


Known for his tight grip on his teams, the New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson favours dark, sharply cut two piece suits and bold coloured ties set against white shirts.



At a July Q & A, Johnson looked great with his signature look: a red patterned tie working as a splash of colour against the dark suit and white shirt.

It’s a look that manages to be simultaneously understated and individual, a great contrast of shades and colour at work.

At the July press conference that marked Rod Thorn’s departure from the Nets franchise, Johnson works the look again with a suit with a clean American cut and that same flash of red.

That’s not to say that Johnson doesn’t change it up time and again. He loosened his tie and removed it entirely at the Snob Magazine launch party last November, where he appeared in a classic pinstriped suit, with gold handkerchief sans shirt button.


Avery Johnson may not let up on the Nets, and it’s certainly true that he doesn’t let up on his own fashion.

Doc Rivers


All of the coaches on this list have their own style.

When Don Nelson and Byron Scott aren’t wearing classically cut suits with complimentary ties, they’re rocking blazers and ribbed shirts. Every second appearance of Avery Johnson emphasizes his use of brightly coloured ties against dark suits and white shirts.

The strength of the style of Boston’s Doc Rivers is his ability to make a variety of styles and colours choices work for him.


Take this vibrant blue suit, for instance. Set against that white shirt, it would end up flat and uninteresting, but it comes alive next to the pale blue-grey of the patterned tie.

If blue isn’t to your taste, check out this subtly checkered grey-green jacket complimented by a yellow-and-brown striped tie. Two different colour styles, each completely different, yet the man looks great in either.

Rivers can be casual too, of course. Check him out at the Celtic’s December visit to Children’s Hospital Boston, bringing Christmas cheer in a sharp Adidas sweater, blue jeans and bright Santa hat. Even during the holidays, the man can contrast colours.

It just goes to show: sometimes the real excitement at a game is where the coaches are.


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