One of the nice, under-the-radar features of MyLeague/MyNBA is the fact that players retire and become coaches in NBA 2K22. It’s not a back of the box listing but can add longevity to any save before both the rosters and coaching staffs fill up with fictional people. It’s a great thing that PS2-era Madden games had (I can’t be the only one who hired Ray Lewis and Brett Favre as my coordinators every time). NBA 2K’s version suffers from two of the same things that Madden’s feature suffered from: there’s no indicator saying which players will become coaches when they retire, and those who do are always star players. However, through some trial and error, I’ve managed to find a way to get any player to retire and become a head coach in NBA 2K22.
Turning A Player Into A Coach In NBA 2K22
Step 1 – Make Some Legends Free Agents
As I mentioned above, the only players who seem to retire and become coaches are absolute stars. It’d be so much simpler to add some sort of badge indicating that a player is essentially a coach-in-waiting. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen didn’t retire and become coaches. But Jacque Vaughn and Jannero Pargo did. Yes, sometimes someone like Steve Nash or Patrick Ewing becomes a coach, but for the most part, the greatest players in the game don’t have the desire to be coaches.
After a few tests, I found these greats routinely became coaches:
- Julius Erving
- Tony Parker
- Vince Carter
- Bill Sharman
- John Havlicek
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Dwyane Wade
- Ray Allen
- Kevin Garnett
- Scottie Pippen
You might find other players to use for step 1, but these were the ones who happened for me every time. The main thing here is that the players have a HOF-level career, which is why we needed players like Julius Erving from the All-Time team and not the Julius Erving from the ’76-’77 Sixers. All-Time Erving will have his entire career stats, which point to a legendary career. The classic team version only has his NBA career up until that point. ’76-’77 Erving won’t retire a legend, and won’t become a coach.
Step 2 – Player DNA
For this step, you’ll need to identify any players you want to become coaches. Edit any of the players listed in step one and import the DNA of any player you want as a coach. Make sure you import the appearance only and not the attributes. For some reason, it worked better when I didn’t import the attributes despite the attributes having no impact on the career stats.
Step 3 – Make Them Old And Bad
The only way for a player to become a coach in the game is to retire, so you need them to be at retirement age. There’s an odd bug where some of the classic players’ ages can’t be edited in the quick edit menu, so you’ll need to fully edit their birth years to make them around 45.
You also don’t want to have any CPU teams sign them, so you’ll need to lower their ratings a bit. This would also increase the likelihood that they do retire. At the end of the first season, check the “retirements” page and make sure they retired, so you know to look for them in the available staff the following offseason.
Unfortunately, you do have to wait a full season for retired players to show up as free agent coaches, so whoever you decide to make a coach will be available at the end of your second season. Sometimes the players will not retire at the end of the first season, so they might retire and become coaches in waves.
Until 2K adds a badge that can take care of this (doesn’t seem likely), this is the best option we have. However, there are a few minor side effects if you do this.
The first is that you can only do this at the start of your save. Once you’ve begun your MyLeague/MyNBA, the classic teams are no longer present for you to pull players from. This means you’ll be limited to using the classic players at the start unless you’re ready for whatever player you want to use as a coach to retire immediately. You could maybe try to make some of the “legend” free agents younger so they retire a few years later, and attempt the Player DNA step a few years into your save.
As mentioned above, to follow the game’s logic, the players are becoming coaches because they had legendary careers. So the second drawback is that when they retire and have legendary stats, they will become members of the Hall of Fame. If you’re fine seeing CJ Watson or Brian Scalabrine end up as Hall of Famers, then this will work. The really good players you’ve replaced will also have their numbers retired in that name, so #21 might be unavailable in Minnesota going forward — but it was because of someone like Kelenna Azubuike instead of KG. The workaround for the retired numbers is to use some of the players listed in step one whose numbers have already been retired.
Sometimes, if too many eligible players retire at the same time, some of them won’t become head coaches, so it might make sense to adjust the ages to stagger the retirements.
I tested this out and it worked every time, with the only minimal side effects being the ones outlined above. As long as 2K doesn’t patch anything weird this should continue to work to get any player you want to become a coach in your MyLeague/MyNBA save in NBA 2K22.