The Atlanta Hawks on Monday sent their head coach packing, but all was not lost for the popular, personable Lloyd Pierce. He just may have a bright future in Democratic politics. Rival coaches credited him with helping flip Georgia from a red state to a blue state in the most recent election.
Pierce had a dreadful record of 63 wins and 120 losses. Only in the woker-than-woke world of the National Basketball Association can such a performance draw praise. He took on the head coaching role in Atlanta in 2018 and went 29-53 that first season. The following year he won a mere 20 games. Overall, he won just 34 percent of his games, but no matter, he was a true champion of social justice. Which counts for plenty to social justice warriors and coaches in the NBA, declining in popularity as it is for that very reason.
When the Hawks dismissed Pierce Monday, they had a record of 14-20 and had reeled to 11 losses in their last 15 games. The numbers sure ain’t pretty, but rival coaches are praising Pierce to the hilt for his political activism. Pierce had pushed for the Hawks to be one of the first NBA teams using their arena as a polling place for the fall election.
Forbes’ Doyle Rader wrote, “Pierce’s firing elicited both shock and concern around the league. One of the loudest and most prominent voices expressing dismay is that of Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle.”
Carlisle is president of the National Basketball Coaches Association, and he mentioned Pierce’s work as a change agent in the political landscape -- not only in Georgia, but for the United States as well. The change Pierce helped facilitate was also to literally seal the stamp of the Democratic Party on the NBA.
“As we’re all well aware, the state of Georgia in very large part because of Lloyd’s work and his commitment, went from being a traditional Republican state to a Democratic state – not only in the electoral college vote in the presidential election, but also in the runoff elections in January, which has massively changed the landscape of our country.”
While Lloyd was consistently losing lots of basketball games on the court, he also served as chairman of Coaches for Racial Justice, which works closely with the Obama Foundation.
Carlisle said the firing of Pierce was “insane” and added:
“I know that Black History Month officially ended yesterday (Sunday), but on the way over here on the bus, I heard about the dismissal of Lloyd Pierce in Atlanta. I just want to make a couple of comments about Lloyd. This is a shocking development to all of us in the coaching world. The timing seems odd. The team had injuries, a lot of those kinds of things, but Lloyd is a guy that has had a profound impact on the landscape of social justice, particularly over the last 12 months.”
Stephen A. Smith, co-host of the ESPN TV show “First Take,” recognized Pierce’s poor coaching record, but also questioned the firing: “To fire him now, I just find it a bit odd, I find it a bit suspicious, particularly considering how outspoken Coach Lloyd Pierce has been. … This doesn’t seem to be purely just the fact that they’re struggling right now. There seems to be a little something more that went along with this.”
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said of the Pierce firing: "It sucks. He's done a really good job. He's a tremendous person. Yeah, this is a hard one.”
Obviously horrible coaching records no longer count for much in NBA wokeville. Social justice activism and being outspoken, on the other hand, constitute doing "a really good job."