Lindsey Hunter knows the NBA very well.
The current head coach at Mississippi Valley State spent the better part of two decades in the league as a player. He also spent time on the bench as a coach.
So when the Brooklyn Nets hired Steve Nash as their head coach with no previous coaching experience, Hunter had some interesting perspective.
“Nothing against Steve Nash I wish him nothing but the best,” Hunter tweeted. “But how many times have black coaches been told they had no head coaching experience for certain jobs! I can tell you personally I’ve heard that on more than one occasion.”
Hunter briefly served as interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns in 2013, replacing Alvin Gentry. He went 12-29 in 41 games. He then spent a season on Mark Jackson’s staff with the Golden State Warriors. Jackson, of course, was later replaced by Steve Kerr. Kerr had no previous coaching experience when he was hired either.
Hunter eventually found himself at home back in the SWAC, taking over a Mississippi Valley State program in need of rebuilding. He went 3-27 his first season.
Beating The Odds Again
If anybody knows about beating the odds in the NBA, it’s Lindsey Hunter. After starting his career at Alcorn State he transferred to Jackson State where he lit up SWAC scoreboards, scoring 2,393 points. He was a lottery pick by the Detroit Pistons in 1993, going 10th overall, ahead of Allan Houston of Tennessee.
He then spent 17 years in the league, winning two championships — one with the Los Angeles Lakers and one against theme with the Detroit Pistons.
But as much as the odds were stocked against Hunter as a player, the odds are stacked against players who look like him getting a head coaching gig with no coaching experience are even greater.