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NBA Black head coaches: How many Black head coaches are currently leading teams within the NBA? 

Samir Mehdi

NBA Black head coaches: How many Black head coaches are currently leading teams within the NBA? 

How many Black head coaches are currently coaching teams in the NBA and who all are they? 

The lack of diversity between NBA head coaches was starting to become somewhat of a social issue in the league this past few seasons. Things really started to come to a boil when an inexperienced Steve Nash landed the coaching job in Brooklyn for a team that consisted of future Hall of Famers like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. 

Black head coaches in the NBA have been scarce throughout its history with only this past decade having led to a significant uptick in hires. The start of the 2012-13 NBA season saw its largest percentage of black head coaches in the NBA at a whopping 48% before being reduced to a lowly 23% in the 2020-21 NBA season.

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This past 2021 offseason saw quite an encouraging rise in the number of Black head coaches in the NBA, with a staggering six receiving head coaching jobs. 

How many Black head coaches are currently in the NBA today? 

As of October 16th, 2021, there are 12 Black head coaches in the NBA. This comes after six signings this past offseason. These eight are: 

Nate McMillan with the Hawks (signed on mid-season in 2021); Wes Unseld Jr with the Wizards, Ime Udoka with the Celtics; Wille Green with the Pelicans; Jamal Mosley with the Magic; and Chauncey Billups with the Blazers.

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Other than these six, you also have Doc Rivers, JB Bickerstaff, Dywane Casey, Ty Lue, Monty Williams, and Stephen Silas as Black head coaches in the NBA. 

Established coaches in the NBA such as Ty Lue and Monty Williams showed love to all of the new signings with the latter saying, “The last few weeks have been really cool in that regard.” 

It’s always incredible to see diversity within leagues as big as the NBA. Black head coaches being hired to the extent that they were this past offseason is a sign that the league is moving in the right direction. 

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi


Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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