The recent hiring of Steve Nash as the head coach of the NBA has sparked controversy all over the country. Given the recent racial tension going on in the United States, questions are being raised if Steve Nash was hired because of his "white privilege" and whether Black NBA coaches are being marginalized.
As a staunch supporter of black NBA coaches, Stephen A Smith was vexed about why Steve Nash, with zero coaching experience, was favored over the likes of Tyronn Lue and Mark Jackson.
NBA has been criticized even in the past for favoring white coaches over their African American counterparts. For a league predominantly comprised of black athletes, there are just 5 black NBA coaches among 30 teams.
As the debate over racial inequalities continues, here's an exhaustive list of all black NBA coaches currently employed in the league today:
#1. Doc Rivers - LA Clippers
Doc Rivers is one of the most respected and celebrated coaches in the league today. Though he won the 'Coach of the Year' award in 2000, his biggest achievement came in 2008 when he led the Boston Celtics to an NBA championship over their arch-rivals LA Lakers.
Doc Rivers is currently the head coach of the LA Clippers. He was instrumental in acquiring superstars Kwahi Leonard and Paul George during the 2019 NBA free agency. As of today, Doc Rivers is among the most respected black NBA coaches ever.
#2 Dwane Casey - Detroit Pistons
Aged 66, Dwane Casey is one of the most respected black NBA coaches in the league. Spanning an illustrious career of over 40 years, Dwane is currently the head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In 2018, he was awarded 'NBA Coach of the Year' and 'NBA All-Star game head coach'. He's also among the few coaches to have found success overseas in the Japanese Basketball League.
#3. Monty Williams - Phoenix Suns
At 38, Monty Williams raised the bar previously set for black NBA coaches as he became the youngest head coach ever in the NBA.
Monty Williams has seen great success of late as the head coach of the young Phoenix Suns team. He was awarded the "NBA All-Seeding games coach of the bubble" as Phoenix made an inspiring 8-0 run in the 2020 Orlando Bubble.
#4. Lloyd Pierce - Atlanta Hawks
Known for his defensive abilities as a player, Lloyd Pierce was among the star players in the 90s from the Santa Clara area. After serving as the assistant coach for Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies, he was made in charge of Philadelphia's defense during the 2013-14 season. Since 2018, he has been serving as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks organization.
#4. J. B. Bickerstaff - Cleveland Cavaliers
Despite not being able to make it to the NBA as a player, J.B Bickerstaff has made his mark as a talented coach in the league. After serving as an assistant coach for four different teams in NBA, he was made the Memphis Grizzlies head coach in 2018. He is currently employed as a head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers with a multi-year contract. Aged 41, Bickerstaff is looking to find success at the highest level in upcoming years.