Here is a list of the head coaching records of Phil Jackson's former assistants and/or players:
Jim Cleamons: 28-70 - Dallas
Bill Cartwright: 51-110 - Chicago
Frank Hamblen: 33-71 - Milwaukee, 10-29 Los Angeles Lakers
Kurt Rambis: 56-145 - Lakers, Minnesota
Brian Shaw: 36-46 - Denver
Total: 204-442 = .316
Cleamons is generally regarded as one of the worst coaches in Mavs history. and ranks third-worst in terms of winning percentage behind Quinn Buckner and Gar Heard. All three of his successors have winning records, though it should be noted that they've all had the benefit of Mark Cuban's deep pockets, which Cleamons did not.
Cartwright took over for Tim Floyd, still trying to clean up the mass exodus of the Jordan/Jackson dynasty. He never got another head gig and is currently the skipper of the Osaka Evessa of the Japanese League.
Hamblen got a whole 65 games in Milwaukee in 1991-92 to clean up Del Harris' mess and didn't get another shot until 2004-05, again an interim position where he failed to impress, guiding a dysfunctional Lakers squad that had an in-his-prime Kobe Bryant but not much else after Rudy Tomjanovich resigned due to health problems.
Not much to say about Rambis, who's simply proven himself to be one of the most incompetent head coaches of our modern times.
Shaw was hamstrung by an injury-plagued Nuggets team. Had he been a bit more patient in waiting for a job, he probably could've hooked up with Jackson on the Knicks, which is probably a more favorable situation since it's easier to make the playoffs in the East.
Now, let's look at Pop's coaching tree:
Brett Brown: 19-63 - Philadelphia
Mike Brown: 347-216 - Cleveland, Lakers, Cleveland
Mike Budenholzer: 38-44 - Atlanta
Avery Johnson: 254-186 - Dallas, New Jersey
Jacque Vaughn: 43-124 - Orlando
Monte Williams: 128-184 - New Orleans
Total: 829-817 = .504
Brett Brown is in charge of a massive rebuilding project where ownership understands it's at least three to four seasons away from respectability. There are zero expectations for him and it's pretty much a skinflint operation until their prospects actually get healthy enough to play. Joel Embiid isn't expected until next season and Dario Saric the year after that. They're fully expected to stink enough to land another top prospect in the draft next summer as well.
Mike Brown led the Cavaliers to a Finals appearance against Pop and the Spurs back in 2007 during LeBron's first run with the team but was sacrificed in 2010 when it was thought that would appease James' wishes. It did not. Since then Brown, who has a reputation for being spectacularly unimaginative on offense, has run into terribly impatient ownership groups, including... uh... the one who fired him the first time. Wouldn't it be funny if this turned out to be the modern day George Steinbrenner/Billy Martin situation?
Budenholzer was off to a flying start with the Hawks (SWIDT?) but then lost his best player in Al Horford to a torn pectoral. Nevertheless, he still guided Atlanta to a No. 8 seed and scared the heck out of the Pacers in the first round with his "five-out" offense where every man on the floor is a threat to shoot the three. Bud basically rendered Roy Hibbert irrelevant in the series, which would've been far more impressive if Washington and Miami didn't also do the same thing. Still, Budenholzer received rave reviews for his rookie season.
Johnson guided the Mavs to The Finals in his first year in charge at Dallas, when they upset the defending champion Spurs along the way. He kind of lost his mind midway through those Finals though, taking too many cues from the paranoid, immature Cuban. He eventually settled down emotionally, but his paranoia got the better of him again next season, after a 67-15 campaign, and he played right into mentor Don Nelson's hands in a first-round upset against the Warriors. The writing was on the wall for him after that. He got two seasons and change for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, where he finished a combined 60-116 and was let go midway through the 2012-13 season.
Vaughn has had a miserable time of it with the Magic, trying to shepherd awfully young talent into something cohesive. Management has been very patient with him, but you get the feeling that after this most recent draft, in which Orlando added Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, that if the team doesn't at least contend for a playoff spot, that it'll be curtains for him.
Williams has also been a disappointment but was given a bit of a reprieve last season because Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson were both lost for almost the whole year with injuries. If he can't guide Anthony Davis to the playoffs next year though, he's done for.
So what's the difference between the two coaching trees, besides the obvious disparity in records? Well, in general it sure seems like Pop's guys have been counseled well enough to wait for the right job instead of the first job, meaning that when they do leave San Antonio they do it for teams that have real talent or at the very least patient ownership groups with sound management and well thought out rebuilding plans. Teams following the Spurs blueprint, in other words.
The newest branches of the tree will be Derek Fisher at New York and Steve Kerr at Golden State, though Kerr is in the unique position of having roots with both Pop and Jackson.
Continued in Part 4.