Sam Mackinnon

Sam Mackinnon
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
PositionAssistant coach
Personal information
Born (1976-08-25) 25 August 1976 (age 47)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Listed height197 cm (6 ft 6 in)
Listed weight104 kg (229 lb)
Career information
Playing career1994–2010
PositionShooting guard / small forward
Coaching career2017–present
Career history
As player:
1994–1998South East Melbourne Magic
1999–2001Townsville Crocodiles
2002–2005West Sydney Razorbacks
2005–2008Brisbane Bullets
2006Basket Rimini Crabs
2008–2010Melbourne Tigers
As coach:
2017–2020Brisbane Bullets (assistant)
2022Brisbane Bullets (interim)
2023–presentSouth East Melbourne Phoenix (assistant)
2024–Taranaki Airs
Career highlights and awards
Men's basketball
Representing  Australia
Gold medal – first place 2006 Melbourne Team competition

Samuel Mackinnon (born 25 August 1976) is an Australian basketball coach and former player. He played in the National Basketball League (NBL) between 1994 and 2010. He currently serves as an assistant coach with the South East Melbourne Phoenix of the NBL.

Playing career

Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Mackinnon's career began in 1994 with the South East Melbourne Magic when he won NBL Rookie of the Year. Two seasons later, Mackinnon went to become one of the dominant players for South East Melbourne and they won the NBL championship in 1996.

After South East Melbourne folded, Mackinnon was signed by the Townsville Crocodiles at the beginning of the 1999 season, and it was not long before Townsville became serious title contenders. In 2001, Townsville made the Grand Final, however Mackinnon missed the series due to injury. Once his contract ended in Townsville, Mackinnon elected to sign with the West Sydney Razorbacks where he became their captain and put up career-best numbers in his first season. During the following season Mackinnon led West Sydney into the NBL Grand Final series against cross-town rivals the Sydney Kings. Sydney won the series 3–2.

In March 2005, Mackinnon signed with the Brisbane Bullets.[1] He had career-best numbers during the 2006–07 season and led the Bullets to their first NBL championship in 20 years. He became the first player in league history to win the MVP, Best Defensive Player[2] and Grand Final MVP in the same season.

During the 2007 NBL off-season there was much speculation concerning whether or not Mackinnon would be signed as a free agent in the National Basketball Association. In June 2007, Mackinnon was reported as having "completed trials with Champions San Antonio Spurs, runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat."[3] On the weekend of 23–24 June 2007, the Toronto Raptors included Mackinnon in a list of free agents invited to a camp to help fill out their roster.[4] Unfortunately, an offer of playing in the NBA did not materialize and Mackinnon re-signed with the Brisbane Bullets.

Knee injuries sidelined him for most of the 2007–08 season. On 8 July 2008, the Melbourne Tigers announced they had signed Mackinnon to a three-year deal.

Mackinnon retired from the NBL following the 2009–10 season.[5]

National team career

Mackinnon was a regular member of the Boomers squad, that saw him compete in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. Perhaps his greatest achievement whilst playing for Australia was winning a gold medal during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In 2007 Mackinnon was also named captain of the Boomers squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Qualifying Series against New Zealand.[6]

Coaching career

On 30 July 2017, Mackinnon returned to the Brisbane Bullets as an assistant coach.[7] He remained as an assistant with the Bullets until 2020, when he moved into the front office.[8] In November 2022, he took on the role of the Bullets' interim head coach after the team parted ways with James Duncan.[9] He handed over the interim coach reins to Greg Vanderjagt on 13 December 2022.[10] His tenure as General Manager of Basketball at the Bullets ended in February 2023.[11]

In May 2023, Mackinnon was appointed assistant coach of the South East Melbourne Phoenix for two seasons.[12]

In September 2023, Mackinnon was appointed head coach of the Taranaki Airs in the New Zealand NBL for two seasons.[13][14]



  1. ^ "Bullets secure Sam". 24 March 2005. Archived from the original on 27 March 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  2. ^ Mackinnon nabs defensive honours
  3. ^ "Basketball Australia".
  4. ^ "Raps will sift prospects at weekend tryout camp | The Star". The Toronto Star. 21 June 2007.
  5. ^ "Chris Anstey and Sam Mackinnon officially announce retirements | Herald Sun". Archived from the original on 27 April 2011.
  6. ^ [dead link]
  7. ^ "Slammin' Sam adds score to Bullets coaching team". 30 July 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Mackinnon to take on bigger role with Bullets". 12 February 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  9. ^ "BREAKING: Bullets, Duncan Part Ways". 25 November 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Club Statement - Head Coach NBL23". 13 December 2022. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  11. ^ "Brisbane Bullets and Sam Mackinnon part ways". 21 February 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Phoenix Signs Sam Mackinnon as Assistant Coach". 8 May 2023. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  13. ^ "The #taranakiairs are thrilled to announce the signing of Sam Mackinnon as the new head coach". 26 September 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  14. ^ Johnston, Will (1 October 2023). "Taranaki Airs confirm Australian to coach NBL side". Retrieved 27 November 2023.
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South East Melbourne Phoenix current roster
  • Head coach: Kelly
  • Assistant coaches: Brennan · Mackinnon
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South East Melbourne Magic 1996 NBL Champions
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Brisbane Bullets 2006–07 NBL Champions
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