The answer to this question may surprise you. There are actually quite a few black coaches in the NBA. Keep reading to find out how many.
The current state of black coaches in the NBA
The current state of black coaches in the NBA is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some successful coaches, like Doc Rivers and Steve Clifford, but there are also several coaches who have been fired recently, like Tyronn Lue and Alvin Gentry. The overall record of black coaches in the NBA is not great, and many believe that this is due to the lack of opportunities given to black coaches. Currently, there are only four black head coaches in the NBA (Rivers, Clifford, Dwane Casey, and David Fizdale), which is down from six last season. It’s safe to say that the state of black coaches in the NBA is not where it should be.
A history of black coaches in the NBA
In 1970, the NBA appointed Bill Russell as the first black head coach in league history. Russell had been a player-coach for the Boston Celtics since 1966, but this was his first full-time coaching gig. He would go on to coach the Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings before retiring in 1977.
Since Russell broke the coaching color barrier, there have been a number of other black coaches in the NBA. Lenny Wilkens, who is also a Hall of Famer, coached the SuperSonics, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is currently second on the all-time win list for NBA coaches.
Other notable black coaches include Doc Rivers, who led the Boston Celtics to an NBA Championship in 2008; Byron Scott, who coached Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive NBA Championships from 2000 to 2002; and Nate McMillan, who coached Kevin Garnett and the Celtics to an appearance in the 2010 NBA Finals.
As of 2016, there are eight black head coaches in the NBA: Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors), Alvin Gentry (New Orleans Pelicans), Steve Clifford (Charlotte Hornets), Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz), Earl Watson (Phoenix Suns), Earl Joseph “Doc” Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers), Jason Kidd (Milwaukee Bucks) and David Joerger (Sacramento Kings).
The challenges black coaches face in the NBA
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has seen a decline in the number of black coaches over the past few years. In 2014, there were only seven black head coaches in the NBA, down from 13 in 2013 and 17 in 2012. The decline is even more pronounced when compared to the early 2000s, when there were 21 black coaches in the NBA.
There are a number of factors that may explain the decline in black coaches in the NBA. One is that there are fewer black assistant coaches in the league, which means there are fewer people on the coaching pipeline. Additionally, many believe that racism still exists in the NBA, and that black coaches face challenges that their white counterparts do not.
Despite the decline in the number of black coaches, the NBA remains committed to diversity among its coaching ranks. In 2015, the league launched a new program called “Coach’s Advantage” which is designed to help qualified minority candidates get head coaching jobs. The program provides financial support and mentorship opportunities for minority assistant coaches looking to become head coaches.
The future of black coaches in the NBA
In recent years, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has seen an influx of young, black head coaches. This is a marked change from the league’s earlier years, when only a handful of black coaches were hired. Now, nearly half of all NBA teams have a black coach at the helm.
This trend is likely to continue, as the pool of qualified black candidates for head coaching positions continues to grow. In addition, many of the current black head coaches are experienced and successful, which is likely to encourage teams to hire more black coaches in the future.
The increased presence of black coaches in the NBA is largely due to the league’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. In particular, the NBA’s Rooney Rule requires that teams interview at least one minority candidate for every head coaching vacancy. This rule has helped to open up opportunities for qualified black coaches who might otherwise have been overlooked.
The future of black coaches in the NBA looks bright. With more young, qualified candidates than ever before, and a commitment from the league to promoting diversity, it is likely that we will see even more black coaches leading NBA teams in the years to come.