The 2018-19 NBA season has started, Spoelstra apprentice David Fizdale has taken charge of the Knicks, Pop acolyte Mike Budenholzer is in Milwaukee, and journeryman assistant Igor Kokostov is leading the maybe-not-terrible Suns. In other words, it’s an ideal moment to gaze at coaching trees. As quickly becomes apparent from the data, however, full NBA coaching trees are better thought of as gnarled bushes, with head coaches and assistants bouncing around the league, forming multiple, inter-woven connections.
I’ve at some point described every place I’ve ever lived as “a good town/city/region/state for basketball”. As clearly as this judgment is tainted by a sort of home-spun narcissism rootless tribalism goodhearted loyalty, it’s also clear that some places are better than others. Which are those places? To begin answering this question, I pick from Basketball Reference’s extraordinary stock of information, scraping their Birth Places page to get the country/state and city of birth for every player in NBA history.