Steve Nash raised eyebrows all through the NBA on Thursday when it was reported the two-time MVP would change into the Nets’ subsequent head coach, regardless of having no teaching expertise.
The curious nature of his hiring led some commentators to ask whether or not Nash was the beneficiary of white privilege in a league whose participant base is 80 p.c Black but solely has 5 present Black head coaches. Amongst these analysts: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who regardless of lauding Nash as a participant and particular person claimed the Nets handed up on different, extra credentialed Black candidates similar to Tyronn Lue, Mark Jackson and Sam Cassell to land on him.
“Women and gents, there is no approach round this. That is white privilege. This doesn’t occur for a Black man,” Smith stated on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday. “No expertise in anyway? On any degree as a coach? And also you get the Brooklyn Nets job?”
MORE: Why did the Nets rent Steve Nash as coach?
Smith’s summation of the scenario, nonetheless, rubbed different commentators within the trade the incorrect approach — together with Charles Barkley.
The “Contained in the NBA” analyst rebutted Smith’s declare later Thursday, saying that he was “dissatisfied” that Nash’s hiring grew to become about white privilege. Barkley backed up his argument by mentioning different Black and POC coaches — Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher — who acquired comparable alternatives regardless of no head teaching expertise.
“When you could have a duty, particularly when you must discuss one thing as critical as race, you may’t be filled with crap,” Barkley stated. “You’ve bought to be trustworthy and truthful.
“Steve Nash is a good participant and a great dude. However I used to be so dissatisfied in a few of these guys. I used to be like, ‘Dude, Black guys have completed this earlier than.’ Now, do we’d like extra Black coaches within the NBA? Sure. Do we’d like extra Black coaches in faculty soccer? Sure. Do we’d like extra Black coaches in professional soccer? Sure. However this wasn’t the appropriate time to say that at this time. Good luck to Steve Nash.”
Whereas Smith is right that Nash is missing expertise in comparison with his new teaching friends, it is value noting that he was a participant improvement marketing consultant on the Warriors, who gained two NBA Finals championships whereas he was in that function. Many have additionally speculated that the connection Nash constructed with Kevin Durant throughout that point is what made him a candidate for the place within the first place.