The conclusion of the 2019-20 NBA season is gearing up to be one of the most exciting in recent history, and the current competitiveness of the league has served as a reminder of how difficult it is to win a championship.
With front offices more impatient than ever, coaches are facing shortened windows to deliver success and only six active head coaches have steered their team to a championship.
However, even fewer head coaches were able to win a title during their respective playing careers before moving into coaching, and here we will take a look at the four head coaches that won a championship as a player.
#4 Rick Carlisle
After being selected with the 70th pick in the 1984 draft, Rick Carlisle's career in the NBA proved to be short, although the Dallas Mavericks head coach was part of the Boston Celtics' 1986 championship-winning team.
77 of Carlisle's 188 NBA appearances came during the 1985-86 regular season, and he featured 10 times during the playoffs as the Celtics overcame the Houston Rockets by 4 games to 2 in the 1986 Finals.
#3 Scott Brooks
As an undersized guard, Scott Brooks was undrafted back in 1987. Nevertheless, Brooks earned a spot on the Philadelphia 76ers roster for the 1988-89 campaign and went on to spend more than a decade in the NBA.
As a reserve guard, Brooks reached the playoffs with the Sixers, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers - and was part of the Houston team that were crowned champions during the 1993-94 season.
He may have featured just four times during Houston's run to the Finals, but Brooks is still among the exclusive list of coaches that managed to win a ring during their playing careers.