The Brooklyn Nets have named Steve Nash the newest head coach after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving joined forces to have Kenny Atkinson removed from the premises this year. Nash will be replacing interim head coach, Jacque Vaughn, who had a team completely vacant of actual NBA players yet managed to have a squad of local Orlando phys. ed teachers out there actually playing well in the bubble.
Before I shit on the New Jersey Nets, Steve Nash is a great basketball mind to have involved in your organization. From everything I’ve read about his time as a consultant with the Golden State Warriors, he had a positive impact on Steph Curry and seems like just a genuinely dope guy to have around.
Yes, he’s a 2-time MVP but you cannot coach that into players. Let’s list off all the former MVPs who went on to have head coaching success. Oh, look at that. There aren’t any. Actually zero. The Brooklyn Nets essentially just signed him for his good vibes.
So with Black Lives Matter written on the court, with ‘Equality’ written on the backs of jerseys and with the NBA players going on strike for a couple of days to protest racial injustice, it is incredibly difficult to not look at the terrible optics of a white guy with no experience getting to skip the line ahead of black coaches who’ve put the time in.
Again, Jacque Vaughn was already the interim coach in the building who led a team of nobodies in the bubble to play competitively when they had no business doing so.
I understand that in the NBA, superstars have the final say and Kevin Durant has a prior relationship with Steve Nash that I’m sure was a huge factor in his hiring. But it’s interesting that this relationship is seen as a positive yet when Ty Lue’s name is mentioned, his relationship with players is seen as a negative. These are the obvious biases that we are trying to point out to white people in power yet we all seem just okay with this Nash hiring.
Richard Jefferson came out and said that race wasn’t a factor in this hiring because Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd received head coaching jobs with zero experience. *deep sigh* Guys, we don’t need to be naive about race anymore. We can be grown-ups and have grown-up conversations about this.
We all know the barriers of entry for black people in far more difficult than white people and white executives consider hiring black people as a bigger risk. We just had the story in the New York Times about Bill Simmons not giving unproven black talent a voice on any of his network’s podcasts because he wasn’t running an ‘open mic night’. We see the way white execs look at black hires.
So yea, Derek Fisher—the man who has the most win in NBA playoff history, and Jason Kidd—the greatest point guard I’ve ever seen play the position, were given the keys to a franchise right away. They both are literally two of the greatest to ever do it.
So guys who deserve a chance like Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, do not get that same opportunity. Patrick Ewing was an NBA assistant coach for over a decade and had to move to college to get his first head coaching opportunity.
And on top of all that, Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd are two of the worst coaches of the last decade which should prove that being a great point guard does not in anyway instantly translate into head coaching success so this Steve Nash hire is even dumber.
Mike Woodson is the last head coach to bring the Knicks to the playoffs and win a series. He was interviewed for the vacant Knicks position and ended up being hired as an assistant to Tom Thibodeau, a man who was out of the league for two seasons after the ‘defensive specialist’ had the worst defensive team in Minnesota. But Thibs has a prior relationship with Knicks president Leon Rose.
I am not accusing anyone of being racist. There is far more nuance to this situation that just blatant hate of black people. But for a league that SHUT DOWN out of frustration about prejudice, I see a lotttt of people jumping to defend this Steve Nash hire and say that it has nothing to do about race.
Either you care about these problems or you don’t. If you truly want equality then you need to address obvious biases that white people with hiring power have in the workplace. We can’t be naive or play dumb about what’s happening.
And what sucks the most is that Steve Nash doesn’t need to prove he’s a great head coach by leading the Charlotte Hornets out of NBA purgatory. He’s not being tasked with coaching the Sacramento Kings and bringing them to the next level.
No, Nash walks into a weak Eastern Conference with a fully healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season and will most likely walk into the Finals so everyone will look at people like me and be like ‘see, he wasn’t hired because he was white. He was hired because he’s such a great coach and America is a meritocracy where the best candidates always get the job’ and nothing will ever change.
I think this is the point where I now bullshit you and urge you to ‘vote’.