We are here to take a glimpse at the wide variety of men in suits that sit on the bench and find out what they do during an NBA game. We will also take a look at the seating arrangements to understand who sits in the first and second row and the duties each of them has during an NBA match. There are tons of folks that sit on the bench, so without any further delays, let’s meet the men from the first and second row.
The First and Second Row
The front row primarily refers to the courtside bench. However, this hasn’t been an actual bench for a very long time now. The rules of the NBA stipulate that a head coach, athletic trainer, and a maximum of three assistant coaches are allowed on the courtside bench.
The second row is situated directly behind the first-row bench. It is usually occupied by a player development assistant and a fourth assistant. You will also find an assistant trainer, athletic performance staff members, an advance scout, a video coordinator, and even a security person for the team. If a superstar is playing on the court, you might also see his security in the second row too.
There are loads of people for every match. However, what do each of them do during a game? Each of their responsibilities will vary. The associate head coach or lead assistant coach usually sits between the head coach and athletic trainer. He can be seen as the consigliere for the head coach and is given loads of responsibility in terms of strategy, suggestions, and advice.
One of the coaches in the first row is responsible for a scouting report on the opponents for the evening. He would give suggestions and advice based on the advance report. In most cases, he would even provide defensive calls if he understands the play-calling signals of the opponent.
In every case, the full range of assistant coaches is tracking data. Some teams will allocate this to the assistants in the second row, but most organizations will follow this chart when it comes to assistant coaches and staff.
- Offensive actions/sets (points per possession, results, play calls, etc.)
- Defensive non-contests/contests and missed coverages
- Defensive efficiency (why, where, when, what, who, and how)
- The athletic trainer is in charge of timeouts and fouls as well as the whiteboard for the head coach.
- Anecdotal observations and individual player notes
- Defensive deflections
- Play-by-play times that are needed by video staff for both in-game and halftime instruction.
- Opposition offensive times and calls
All this phenomenal tracking of a match stretches back to the 1970s. As squads were adding coaching staff, it became more complicated when it came to tracking data. This allows the coaching staff to get their hands on immediate feedback and keeps each of the staff members focused on the smaller details of the game.