On the Cusp of History

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Growing Belief that NBA Will See More Black Head Coaches in Near Future

The NBA is on the cusp of history.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the expectation around the league is that more Black assistant coaches will be in-line for head coaching positions in the near future. There are currently seven black head coaches in the NBA, including J.B. Bickerstaff in Cleveland and Doc Rivers in Philadelphia.

“The NBA generally has had a better hiring record than the NFL has, but I don’t think we take time… we don’t talk as much about the assistants in the NBA as we do in the NFL,” said Wojnarowski. “I think there’s a group of young, and not so young, Black assistants who are going to be head coaches. I think last year’s interview process, guys didn’t get jobs, but I think there a few guys on the cusp.”

“I would tell you that Darvin Ham in Milwaukee, who made an incredible impression with the Clippers, with Indiana. Jamahl Mosley in Dallas made a great impression, again in LA. Interviewed in other places. Wes Unseld Jr. with the Nuggets, who Mike Malone, to his credit, Mike gave Wes a lot of praise for that Nuggets’ defense in the bubble. And the role he played. And there are others. I think we’re going to see in the NBA, you’re going to see some of these candidates start to break through and get jobs. We just talk about it the way we do the NFL. And there’s others. I don’t want to do just a list here. Certainly, I think those guys are among the most prominent right now who I think are really close.”

Zach Lowe of ESPN believes that others such as Chauncey Billups and Melvin Hunt will soon be candidates for head coaching positions as well.

“We don’t talk about it enough,” said Wojnarowski. “It’s important in this league.”

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