NBA Draftees usually come to the Draft with a group of people including family, friends and in some cases, college coaches. And at least one college coach doesn’t believe that coaches should be there.
Nolan Smith just wrapped up his first season as an assistant at Arkansas after several years coaching at his alma mater, Duke. During Thursday’s Draft, Smith made it known that he doesn’t think coaches should be there with their players.
Smith tweeted, among other things, that he will never attend a draft with a player, unless that player specifically invites him.
“I will never go to the draft as a coach unless my player personally invites me and says Coach.. I want you there! Draft night is about the player and his family!!! Its not a photo op for me to post on IG to help with recruiting.”
I will never go to the draft as a coach unless my player personally invites me and says Coach.. I want you there! Draft night is about the player and his family!!! Its not a photo op for me to post on IG to help with recruiting. ✊🏾🖤
— Nolan Smith (@NdotSmitty) June 23, 2023
Was Smith targeting any coach with his comment? With the obvious exception of Juwan Howard, the father and college coach of Jett Howard, there were two that stood out. Kentucky coach John Calipari and Duke coach Jon Scheyer were both at the draft on Thursday.
Scheyer, though, was specifically invited by Dereck Lively.
BTW, for #Duke fans watching the draft live, Dereck Lively II invited Jon Scheyer to sit with him and his family tonight.
Lively was the first player Scheyer offered a scholarship to once he became head coach, and now their journey comes full circle.
— Brendan Marks (@BrendanRMarks) June 23, 2023
But regardless of who (if anyone) Smith was talking about, his tweet generated another response. Louisville went 4-28 under first-year coach Kenny Payne, with Smith as an assistant.
Knowing that, basketball fans were quick to note that worrying about attending the NBA Draft with his players may be a prime example of putting the cart before the horse.
He could have stopped at “I will never go to the draft as a coach” and it would have been a true statement https://t.co/aN1pWm8GJY
— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) June 23, 2023
As long as he's at UofL, I'm not sure this is a problem Coach Smith is gonna face 😂 https://t.co/0RY2VfkTat
— Taylor Combs (@combstaylor_) June 23, 2023
Probably could have stopped typing after the first 10 words. https://t.co/un1tzlqJzP
— Owen (@75toRupp) June 23, 2023
Don’t think Louisville has to worry about guys getting drafted anytime soon. https://t.co/xq65bco8oz
— Chris Schutte (@ChrisSchutte3) June 23, 2023
— Matt Sak BBN (@MattSakR2NG) June 23, 2023