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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Stephen Jackson offers ridiculous take on Monty Williams firing

Stephen Jackson at an event

Stephen Jackson in June 2020. Credit: Jack Gruber via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Many people were surprised when the Phoenix Suns fired head coach Monty Williams over the weekend, but it would be hard to find a more ridiculous take on the topic than the one former NBA player Stephen Jackson delivered.

Jackson thinks racism is the reason Williams was fired. The former swingman said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast that there is a problem across the NBA with white coaches being handed superstar rosters while black coaches have to start from the bottom and work their way up.

“I didn’t think they were gonna get rid of the coach. I thought he was the right coach for the job, but you know how they do it,” Jackson said. “When teams come together like this (with superstar players), they’re quick to go out and find a white coach to just throw him in that position so he can get all the credit. Every time a black coach comes into the league, he gets the worst team in the league to start his career. His team won’t win until he’s like six years in coaching and he finally gets some stars.”

Jackson used the Brooklyn Nets as an example since they hired Steve Nash to coach Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and company. Of course, Durant had a previous relationship with Nash from the time the two spent working together with the Golden State Warriors. There were numerous reports that Durant played a big role in Brooklyn’s decision to hire Nash.

Jackson obviously does not take that into consideration. He also conveniently failed to mention how Nick Nurse and Mike Budenholzer, white coaches who have both won NBA titles in recent years, were fired this offseason.

There was a report that Durant and another Suns star who happens to be black may have played a role in the decision to move on from Williams. Jackson didn’t bring that up, either.

The Suns may even be hoping to pry Ty Lue away from the Los Angeles Clippers. If that happens, Jackson’s point will look even more ridiculous.

You could certainly make the argument that Williams, who is just a year removed from being named NBA Coach of the Year, did not deserve to be fired. That argument can be made without race baiting, though it is nothing new for Jackson to take that approach.


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