The word player-coach stems back to even before the 1960s, when Bill Russell was both player and coach for the Boston Celtics. Although Russell is the most known player-coach in the NBA, the position was a staple for many professional teams.
The practice is no longer allowed in the NBA. If it were, one would have to wonder if Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn could fill the role. At just 37 years old (he turns 38 on Feb. 11), he certainly has the potential. Vaughn has been known to be very hands-on during practices, often leaving practices just as sweaty as his players.
But theres more to being a player-coach than just being able to participate in the drills. Almost four years removed from being an NBA player himself, Vaughn has the ability to relate to his guys on a deeper level.
Now halfway through his first year as head coach, Vaughn has had the opportunity to experience the relationship between player and coach on both sides of the spectrum. Its something that he values...