Stephen A Smith of ESPN says “white privilege” is what led to the hiring of Steve Nash as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team. Former NBA basketball players and fans alike immediately reacted to his assertion, and the results are not positive for Stephen A. And the surprising part here is that Smith is generally seen as a conservative voice on the far-leftist network. So the question here is… does Stephen A. Smith have a point or is this just a bad take?
Loud And Wrong
In order to tackle the comments made by Stephen A. Smith, one must first start with breaking down the facts. Things that are black and white and will not change with opinion. And the facts say that since 1978, 16 people without prior coaching experience were hired as NBA head coaches. Of that 16, 8 were black: Paul Silas, Magic Johnson, M.L. Carr, Isaiah Thomas, Derek Fisher, Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd, and Doc Rivers.
Becoming an NBA head coach is not predicated upon race. The numbers simply don’t bear it out. And speaking of black NBA head coaches with no coaching experience, throw in Avery Johnson as an honorable mention. He became the Dallas Mavericks’ head coach after one year of assistant coaching for the Mavericks. Johnson’s rise to head coach was assumed when he retired as a player.
Don’t Be Distracted
Not much focus is on Steve Nash which is where the spotlight should be. Nash is in the NBA Hall of Fame, a two-time MVP of the NBA, an eight-time All-Star, and a seven-time All-NBA selection. His accolades span an 18-year NBA career. Nash is well-respected and loved by nearly everyone in the National Basketball Association.
To imply that Steve Nash is not qualified for the job as NBA head coach does not make sense by looking at his resume. Looking at his skin color, however, might give someone a different opinion if they are a racist or blinded by social justice.
Look Beneath The Surface
Stephen A. Smith nearly accused Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving, the star players on the Brooklyn Nets, of not doing enough to bring on a black head coach like Mark Jackson or Sam Cassell. That is an irresponsible take, to say the least. Kyrie Irving is actually a social justice warrior type of guy who feels very deeply about the Black Lives Matter cause. He also set up a $1.5 million dollar fund to help WNBA players who chose to opt-out of the “bubble” W/NBA season in Orlando.
Kevin Durant knows Steve Nash from the Golden State Warriors days. Nash was a consultant for the Warriors when Kevin Durant was on the team. During this time, the Warriors won two rings. So there is already an existing personal relationship between Kevin Durant and Steve Nash. Kyrie Irving is a superstar point guard as was Steve Nash, so they’d be on the same page. Nets General Manager Sean Marks was a teammate of Steve Nash during his NBA career.
Hiring Steve Nash as the Brooklyn Nets head coach was not a race issue, it was a matter of selecting the best person to fit the role. And that’s what was done.
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