The National Basketball Association (NBA) has always been acknowledged for its diversity among players, staff, coaches, and executives. The basketball league has another feather to place in that cap as the NBA has earned an A in the 2023 NBA Racial and Gender Report Card that was recently released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.
According to The Associated Press, the NBA also set a record for having the most head coaches of color in the past year based on the report card released. Last year, in November 2022, the league had 17 head coaches of color along with 16 Black head coaches. With 30 teams in the league, that equated to more than half of the league having teams led by a Black head coach.
Richard Lapchick, the director for TIDES, said the number of Black head coaches leads to more diversity among the various positions in the NBA.
“When a league takes the initiative to set the kind of example that the NBA does, that’s not only good for sport, but good for society as well,” he said.
The report relied on data from the 2022-23 season. The league had high scores as it received an A+ for racial hiring practices and a B+ for gender hiring practices. The NBA’s diversity initiatives also received an A+.
The NBA reached its highest percentage of women in professional staff roles in over a decade with 43.3%. There was also a 30% rise in both racial and gender hiring for team senior administration as well as racial hiring for team professional staff.
But, it wasn’t all great grades.
The report said the NBA still lacks diversity at the highest levels of the league. For just having 10% of team owners being women, it earned an F grade. It also received a D+ grade for having 13.3% of team owners being people of color (That number is slightly lower now that Michael Jordan just sold the Charlotte Hornets).
The NBA also received F grades for racial and gender diversity grades at the president/CEO level.