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With the recent hire of Darvin Ham by the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA will have a record number of Black head coaches when the season starts in October 2022.
Out of the 30 NBA teams, 15 have head coaches that are Black, and that number could grow as the Charlotte Hornets are still in the process of finding their next head coach.
With 70% of league players being Black, the lack of representation in the coaching department was a problem NBA officials wanted to solve head on.
“I know we can do better,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said at a news conference in 2020. “We have six openings right now. We’re in discussions with all of those teams about making sure there’s a diverse slate of candidates.”
Two years later and half of the league’s coaches are Black.
First-year head coach Ime Udoka has taken his team, the Boston Celtics, all the way to the NBA Finals to face the Golden State Warriors.
Darvin Ham, who was an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks during their 2020-21 championship season, will be a first-time head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers next season.
NBA shows Lack of Diverse Coaching in Other Leagues
The lack of diversity in head coaching has been a problem in the major sports leagues in the U.S. for a while now.
The NFL boasts a similar population of Black players as the NBA, with 70% of the league’s players being Black and only five Black head coaches out of 32 teams.
Brian Flores, along with two other Black coaches, filed a lawsuit against the NFL and over 10 teams alleging hiring discrimination practices.
Out of the 30 managers in Baseball, only two are Black, despite people of color making up 38% of all players.
“Look around the League. Now you’re starting to see what we can do in the coaching ranks,” Celtics Star Jaylen Brown said of his coach Ime Udoka.
“Before, the talk was that certain people of color were not qualified to do their jobs or whatever the excuse was. Man, you give these guys an opportunity, and look what they did with it. First-year head coach Ime Udoka took us to the Finals. Look at Monty Williams in Phoenix; look at Dallas with Jason Kidd. You look at all these coaches around the League, and I’m happy to see that they’re finally getting an opportunity. Black coaches and people of color are deserving, and they’re capable of getting the job done just like anybody else.”