The Portland Trail Blazers are in the market for a head coach after ending the Terry Stotts era. A few names have been linked with the position, with one of them — Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd — pulling his name out of the running before the search has fully gotten off the ground.
The latest name to pop up in the rumor mill is Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, who hasn’t been a head coach since the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign with the Houston Rockets. While D’Antoni is an accomplished coach, Stephen A Smith expressed frustration with him being the latest example of a white coach who is given the benefit of the doubt despite being unable to take a team to the promised land.
“How many damn chances you supposed to get?” Smith asked around the 2:47 mark. “The man coached James Harden, the man coached Steve Nash, the man coached Kobe Bryant. All of these guys he had and not a single trip to the Finals to show for it.”
While Smith made clear that he likes D’Antoni personally and thinks he is a good coach, he pointed out that teams are more patient with white coaches who ultimately come up short.
“I am sick and tired of coaches, white coaches, getting chance, after chance, after chance, after chance,” Smith said. “I’m not saying that Mike D’Antoni doesn’t deserve to be a head coach, I don’t wanna put that out there. Mike D’Antoni, for a lot of teams, but let him go get one of them retreads and make them relevant. Why he always gotta get a Dame Lillard-caliber, or a James Harden-caliber, or a Kobe Bryant-caliber. Why you gotta have someone like that in your stable? Because there are plenty of coaches that don’t have that.”