Most analysts applauded the Brooklyn Nets for hiring Steve Nash as their next head coach. Stephen A. Smith happens to be on the other side of the spectrum, as the famous ESPN personality called the move an example of “white privilege.”
“This does not happen for a Black man,” Smith said on First Take. “No experience whatsoever? On any level as a coach? And you get the Brooklyn Nets job? I know that Kyrie [Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant] have both signed on this. I know they both support this move. But I’m thinking about a champion that is Ty Lue, passed up. I’m thinking about a guy who built the foundation for the Golden State Warriors in Mark Jackson, passed up. I’m thinking about the years that Sam Cassell has served as an assistant, first in the nation’s capital in D.C. and now with the Los Angeles Clippers, passed up.”
Not too many people agree with that take from Smith. After all, Nash is a former MVP and is well-respected from current players in the league.
CBS analyst Danny Kanell isn’t normally considered a basketball expert, but he felt the need to respond to Smith’s controversial comments.
“If you want to talk privilege in coaching….it absolutely exists,” Kanell wrote on Twitter. “It’s called “former player privilege”. That’s it. Nothing else.”
If you want to talk privilege in coaching….it absolutely exists.
It’s called “former player privilege”. That’s it. Nothing else.
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) September 3, 2020
ESPN analyst Jay Williams also disagreed with Smith’s stance on the Nash hiring.
“Come on SA. Steve Nash being chosen over Mark Jackson/Ty Lue is not “White Privilege”.. 2 superstar black athletes ultimately made the decision & we know who they are and what they are about,” Williams said.
Several former NBA players have received coaching jobs without much experience, such as Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd.
We’ll see if Nash can prove his doubters wrong next season.
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