What will it take for NBA to increase number of Black head coaches?

The NBA has empowered its players and coaches by supporting their desire to address social injustices. Yet, the NBA has struggled with solving one of its own shortcomings.

“You look at the dichotomy between players, coaches and front office ownership representation. The percentages don’t match,” Denver Nuggets associate head coach Wes Unseld Jr. told USA TODAY Sports. “The NBA is by far more forward thinking, more proactive and more diverse and inclusive than the other sports leagues. But I think it still has a ways to go.”

Among the 30 NBA teams, there are four majority owners that are minorities and four women that have team ownership positions. There are 10 Black general managers, one Latino president of Basketball Operations and one Asian general manager. And there are zero women head coaches, seven Black head coaches and eight women assistant coaches. 

“The only way it changes is if the decision-making field gets more diverse,” Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham told USA TODAY Sports.

Scrutiny has intensified specifically surrounding the number of Black NBA head coaches for reasons beyond more attention this past year on the country’s racial inequalities.


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