While most of its players are Black men, there are very few Black men in the front office or namely, head coaching positions. For instance, earlier this month, former player Steve Nash was named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets despite having no previous head coaching experience. At the same time, Mark Jackson, an architect in creating the Golden State Warriors dynasty, is still jobless.
One of the most outspoken coaches, Steve Kerr, recently spoke to The Mercury News about the lack of Black coaches in the league and what needs to be done to increase diversity.
“We’ve got to do better in the NBA. A few years ago, I think we had 14 Black head coaches. There are only six this year, maybe seven out of the 30?” Kerr said. “I think the NBA does a pretty good job but much like the rest of society, there are inherent advantages when you’re a White person. It’s important that White people are aware of the lack of opportunity that a lot of Black people are facing, and we’ve got to address that.”
Stephen A. Smith even went as far as to say Nash getting the gig was a form of white privilege. But others defended the decision because Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are partially responsible for the hiring, and both are at the forefront of the NBA’s Black Lives Matter movement.
As the offseason approaches, we’ll soon see if more Black men get a chance at head coaching jobs in not just basketball but sports wide.