NBA: Kiwi Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks under fire for controversial 'white privilege' coaching hire

New Zealand's Sean Marks has found himself at the centre of a coaching appointment widely labeled as a product of 'white privilege' in the NBA.

On Friday (NZ time), the former Tall Black and now General Manager of the Brooklyn Nets made headlines, after confirming future Hall of Famer Steve Nash as the new head coach of his team.

But with Nash having no prior experience, the decision has drawn major criticism.

According to Stephen A Smith - one of the most recognised sports pundits in the US - the reasons behind hiring Nash are as simple as black and white.

"Ladies and gentlemen there's no way around this," Smith said on ESPN. 

"This is white privilege. This does not happen for a black man." 

In a sport that's been at the forefront of raising awareness over social injustice recently,  Nash beat out far more well-credentialled black men for the position, despite having no prior head coach experience.

That decision fell on Marks.

"After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds," Marks said.  "We knew we had a difficult decision to make."

"I have witnessed first-hand [Nash's] basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success."

"No experience whatsoever on any level as a coach and you get the Brooklyn Nets job?" said a furious Smith.

While Smith was dumbfounded, it's not unprecedented.

The Golden State Warriors appointed Steve Kerr in 2014 without any prior coaching experience, and they went on to win three titles.

It was at the Warriors where Nash worked with Kevin Durant, who - along with Kyrie Irving - are the stars at the Nets.

They both gave the appointment their blessing. Marks will just be hoping it's the right one.

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