In a surprising decision, the Brooklyn Nets have hired Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash to be the franchise’s next head coach.
What We Know:
- The New York Times’ Marc Stein first reported the news and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Nash had agreed to a four-year contract. Wojnarowski also reported that Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks had been “aggressive” to recruit Nash.
- This move comes as a shock to many because Nash has no coaching experience and has been hesitant to take positions on coaching staffs or in front offices. After retiring from playing in 2014, he served as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors.
- Nash’s hiring has initially rubbed some the wrong way because it seems that several experienced, successful, and qualified Black coaching candidates were passed up whereas Nash has the privilege to land this job without any coaching experience. Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn will stay on staff as an assistant. Vaughn took over as head coach midway through the 2019-2020 season after Kenny Atkinson was fired and led the Nets to the first round of the playoffs.
Nash may be good. Heck, I’d lean towards him being good.
The issue is that guys like Nash – and guys that look like Nash – get these type of blank slate gambles a lotttttttt more often than seasoned black assistants, much less those who also have a relatively blank slate.
— Karens In Paris (@NekiasNBA) September 3, 2020
The blackest coaching pool in years:
Wes Unseld Jr
And Steve Nash got a job w/0 experience
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) September 3, 2020
- Part of what made Nash an attractive candidate, aside from his playing career, was his relationships with members of the Nets organization. Nash worked for the Golden State Warriors while Kevin Durant was there and it’s clear that they have tremendous respect for each other. “He’s someone I can talk to about anything and somebody I really respect. His basketball mind is probably the best I’ve been around,” Durant said of Nash in 2018. Part of this coaching search was that franchise players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had to be okay with the candidate and Nash’s relationships with them and reputation as a former player certainly garnered their approval.
Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP and recognized as one of the greatest point guards to ever play. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. With Nash as head coach and a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving returning next season, the Brooklyn Nets expect to be immediate title contenders.
Jets Make History, Hiring Robert Saleh to Become NFL’s First Muslim Head Coach
The New York Jets have announced their new head coach and the first Muslim coach in NFL history.
What We Know:
- The Jets recently fired their previous coach, Adam Gase, after going 9-23 last season. Now, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has been hired by the Jets making him the first Muslim head coach in the league’s history.
- Before signing a 5-year contract with the Jets, the 41-year-old Dearborn, Michigan native spent the last four seasons in Santa Clara, California. Here, Saleh transformed the 49ers‘ poor defense into one of football’s most elite units.
- Prior to working with the 49ers, Saleh was a defensive assistant for the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Texans. He has had over 16 years of NFL coaching experience and was reportedly eyed by teams in Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and the Los Angeles Chargers before making a deal with the Jets.
- Saleh’s history-making deal was acknowledged by a Muslim civil rights advocacy group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said, “We welcome this development as another sign of the increasing inclusion and recognition of American Muslims in our diverse society.”
We’re interested to see if Saleh can continue to make history with the Jets.
New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Says He Won’t Accept Presidential Medal of Freedom
Head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, declined to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday following Trump supporters’ violent ambush at the U.S. Capitol.
What We Know:
- In a statement, Belichick announced he would not go through with receiving the award after agreeing to accept it prior to last week’s riots in D.C. Belichick said he was flattered to be offered the medal, the country’s highest civilian honor, but the “tragic events of last week occurred, and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.”
- Having been a noted supporter of the President’s, Belichick says, “above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom, and democracy.” He also mentions to have had “conversations” and “actions” about “social justice, equality and human rights” earlier in the NFL season, which he claims were among the most rewarding in his career.
- “Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award,” he said. The award, established in 1963, is given to people who have “made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House.
- The coach, who claims to stay out of politics, wrote a letter of support to the President in 2015, which Trump then read at a campaign rally in New Hampshire, on the night before the 2016 election. At the time, the candidate claims the letter offered “best wishes for great results” on election day and “the opportunity to make America great again.”
This decision is among the latest of political statements being made by various athletes and sports organizations. On Sunday, The Professional Golfers’ Association of America said that its 2022 championship would not be held at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Chris Webber Developing ‘Fab Five’ Limited TV Series
A Fab Five TV series is in development with Chris Webber involved.
What We Know:
- The Fab Five was the 1991 University of Michigan Men’s basketball team. Often considered one of the best recruiting classes in college basketball history, the team consisted of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson.
- Webber will be working with Russel Redeaux, head of development at Cashmere Originals, to develop the series. The series will be based on Webber’s autobiography By God’s Grace, says the Grio.
- Webber joined the Michigan Wolverines in 1991, eventually becoming NBA Rookie of the Year, a five-time NBA All-Star, and a five-time All-NBA team member. Currently, he works as an NBA analyst for TNT.
- Redeaux told The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s definitely an alignment with our vision at Cashmere Originals to tell multicultural stories of inclusion… with that alignment and me being a guy who grew up in the same era of the Fab Five, it was sort of a dream come true project to bring it into our company fold and work with Chris.”
- Webber did not participate in the 2011 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the Fab Five, so this will be the first time his point of view will be shared on TV. During the documentary premiere, Webber was estranged from his former teammates and former best friend, Jalen Rose. The documentary was ESPN’s highest-rated documentary at the time, seen by 2.7 million.
“What I think is different about it is I’ve never spoken about my time with the Fab Five…There’s a lot of behind the scenes that not many people know about, and it’s about so many things. Hopefully, I’ll be able to express those things, whether it’s about Detroit or the work ethic of the city and the factories — all those things that made us.” said Webber
- The team fell short of an NCAA championship in 1993 due to Webber calling a time-out. Webber called a time-out when the team didn’t have one, leading to North Carolina converting two shots on the technical foul. North Carolina won the championship 77-71.
Webber’s perspective in the series is sure to bring new stories. The series has yet to release a premiere date.
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