Retired NBA champion Stephen Jackson defended a coach who was recently fired by the Phoenix Suns, saying the team will likely hire a white coach to “get all the credit,” and described the practice as all too common in the NBA.
Jackson appeared on the Paper Route podcast and discussed the firing of Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams. Jackson, who won an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003, defended Williams, saying that he was fired too soon after coaching the Suns for four seasons.
“You bring this team together at the end of the year, I don’t care if you have [Kevin Durant] or not,” Jackson said. “I said if they lose, they were going to give this team another year … give this team another year to kind of have a whole season and training camp together to see if they can pull it off,” he continued.
However, Jackson then described what he felt was an ongoing trend in which black coaches are hired to coach less talented teams when they begin their coaching careers, only to be fired and replaced by a white coach when the team turns the corner.
“I didn’t think they were going to get rid of the coach, I think he was the right coach for the job. But you know how they do. When teams come together like this they’re quick to go and find a white coach and just throw him in that position so he can get all the credit,” Jackson explained.
“I don’t care, yeah I said it, they do it too much. Every time a black coach come into the league he gets the worst team in the league to start his career off,” the former player claimed. “A situation like this they always find a white coach, just like they did with Steve Nash in Brooklyn. Throw him in a spot where the team is already basically together.”
Nash was fired after just over two seasons in Brooklyn when he failed to win a championship.
Stephen Jackson thinks racism is the reason why the Monty Williams was fired in Phoenix
The Suns’ no. 1 target to fill the vacancy? Ty Lue, a black head coach 😂
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) May 16, 2023
Subsequent reports seemed to contradict Jackson’s analysis, with rumors swirling that two of the team’s stars had a hand in the coach’s dismissal.
“36 unbothered,” Suns player Devin Booker wrote on Twitter. Fans and analysts took this reference to mean that Booker was referring to himself and teammate Kevin Durant. Durant wears number 35 and Booker number 1, together making “36.”
Longtime analyst Colin Cowherd also responded to the reports, saying that it makes Durant look bad.
“Stephen Jackson is one of those people that makes a living asking his audience that hates the country what he should think,” sports writer and commentator Gary Sheffield Jr. told TheBlaze.
Sheffield also pointed out that the Phoenix Suns’ number one target to fill the vacant coaching position is “Ty Lue, a black head coach.”
Jackson became a prominent voice during the George Floyd protests and riots in 2020. He was a friend of Floyd’s, telling Marie Claire that they “just had a bond. We became tight.”
Due to a comparable resemblance, Jackson even often referred to Floyd as his “twin.”
“I’m here because they’re not going to demean the character of George Floyd, my twin,” the Washington Post reported him saying in 2020.
“A lot of times the police, when they do things they know that’s wrong, the first they do is try to cover it up and bring up your background to make it seem like the bulls*** that they did was worth it. When was murder ever worth it? But if it’s a black man, it’s approved,” Jackson said.