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Steve Nash admitted Wednesday he skipped the line when it came to getting the Brooklyn Nets head-coaching job last week to take over a team led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith was among those who said Nash benefited from “White privilege” after it was announced that he got the job even though he didn’t have any experience.
Nash said as much during the introductory press conference, according to ESPN. He said that while he’s benefited from “White privilege” he considered this hiring was based on the relationship he’s formed over his Hall of Fame basketball career.
“I have benefited from White privilege,” Nash said. “I'm not saying this position was a factor, as far as White privilege. … I think, as White people, we have to understand we have a certain privilege and a benefit by the color of our skin in our communities. We have a long way to go to find equality and social and racial justice. I hope that I'm a great ally in that cause."
“… I'm very sensitive to the cause and the goal. I'm not sure that this is an example that fits that conversation, but I own it and I understand why it's talked about. We do need more diversity and more opportunities for African American coaches on staff in all capacities. The league was built through African American players and stars who have made this one of the greatest entertainment industries and businesses in sports in the world. It's really important that we continue to come together and fight at the league level.
“It's interesting, being such a supporter and all of that need for equality, to be put in the middle of it, in a sense, because it's something that's near and dear to my heart. But I accept it. I want to be part of the conversation. And, frankly, I want to be a part of change moving forward.”
While Nash doesn’t have any coaching experience, he was in the Golden State Warriors’ front office in 2015. It’s where he would later form his relationship with Durant.
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He played 18 seasons in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. He was an eight-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA First Team nominee, two-time NBA MVP, and led the league in assists five times.
He retired from the NBA during the middle of the 2013-14 season over health concerns.
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