The number of black coaches in the NBA has been on the rise in recent years. But with the recent firing of Tyronn Lue, there is now only one black head coach in the league. So the question is, how many black coaches will there be in the NBA by 2022?
The current number of black coaches in the NBA
As of the 2019-2020 NBA season, there are 7 black head coaches in the league. This is down from a high of 9 in the 2014-2015 season.
The history of black coaches in the NBA
African Americans have been playing professional basketball since the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until 1950 that an African American coached an NBA team. That coach was John McLendon, who coached the Cleveland Pipers of the National Basketball League (NBL) during the 1950-51 season. In 1967, Bill Russell became the first African American head coach in the NBA when he was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics.
It wasn’t until 1977 that another African American was hired as an NBA head coach when Butch van Breda Kolff was named head coach of the New Orleans Jazz. Since then, a handful of other African Americans have been named NBA head coaches, but they have never made up more than 25% of all NBA head coaches at any one time.
Currently, there are eight African American head coaches in the NBA out of 30 teams, or 27%. It is projected that by 2022, there will be 11 African American head coaches in the NBA out of 30 teams, or 37%.
The trend of black coaches in the NBA
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has seen a trend of increasing black coaches over the past few years. In fact, black coaches made up nearly a quarter of all NBA head coaches during the 2017-2018 season. This is up from just 10 percent in 2014-2015.
There are currently eight black head coaches in the NBA, including Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers and Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets. This is the highest number of black head coaches in the league since 2011-2012, when there were also eight.
If this trend continues, it is likely that there will be even more black coaches in the NBA by 2022.
The future of black coaches in the NBA
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has seen a recent increase in the number of black coaches. In fact, black coaches made up 29% of NBA head coaches during the 2016-2017 season. This is the highest percentage of black coaches in the NBA ever. But what does the future hold for black coaches in the NBA?
There are currently eight black head coaches in the NBA: Earl Watson (Phoenix Suns), Dave Joerger (Sacramento Kings), Doc Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers), Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors), Alvin Gentry (New Orleans Pelicans), Tyronn Lue (Cleveland Cavaliers), Nate McMillan (Indiana Pacers), and Scott Brooks (Washington Wizards).
Of these eight black head coaches, five are in their first season as a head coach in the NBA. Of the three who are not first-year head coaches, Doc Rivers has been coaching since 1999, Nate McMillan since 2001, and Scott Brooks since 2008. All three of these men have coached for over a decade.
The average tenure for an NBA head coach is 2.6 years. The average tenure for a black NBA head coach is 1.9 years. This means that, on average, black NBA head coaches do not last as long as white head coaches. In fact, of the eight current black NBA head coaches, only three have been coaching for more than two seasons.
Given that the average tenure for an NBA head coach is only 2.6 years, it is possible that there will be more turnover among black NBA head coaches in the next few years. It is also possible that more blacks will be hired as assistant coaches and eventually promoted to head coach positions. Only time will tell how many black coaches there will be in the NBA by 2022.