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Podcast offers more backstory on the Nets hiring Khalid Green, son of Assemblyman

The headline news, according to NetsDaily 9/30/18, is that Longtime Nets scout says NBA talent evaluation often racially based, but there's an intriguing anecdote from a recent podcast that helps fill out the story of how former Bishop Loughlin High School basketball coach Khalid Green got connected to the Nets.

As I wrote in November 2011, all evidence suggests that Green was qualified to work as a Nets scout, but it sure helped to know the right people, notably his father Roger Green, who served as Assemblyman for the district including the Atlantic Yards site, and was a key political supporter of the project.

A nice introduction

I hadn't previously cited a February 2004 column for the Courier-Life chain, in which political columnist Erik Engquist noted that the Roger Green had just pleaded guilty to petit larceny and resigned, but might run again later that year, not only to vest his pension but also that "he might want to get his son a job with the New Jersey Nets."

Indeed, Roger Green did run again, with Democratic Party backing and no real opposition. He served one more term, and Khalid Green got a job with the Nets. Did his father get him the job? No, but his name and position helped him network.

As I wrote, an October 2008 Daily News article suggested that Khalid Green got his start after his father introduced him to developer Bruce Ratner, who had just bought the Nets, with the intention of moving them to Brooklyn to leverage the Atlantic Yards project: "He plugged me in and let me shake hands with people that normally I wouldn't have been able to meet. I took it from there."

The coach/scout elaborated in more detail, in a June 2009 interview (no longer online) with the website Box of M.E.S.S., saying Ratner set up meetings with Nets General Managers Ed Stefanski and Kiki Vandeweghe, who hired him for consultant work "after my high school seasons were done in 2006 and 2007. In the year 2008, Kiki offered me the east coast scouting position which I gratefully accepted."

On the new podcast

More recently, Green talked on the Bill Rhoden on Sports podcast (co-hosted by the former New York Times columnist) about meeting an NBA scout at an ABCD summer camp for high school college recruits, which ultimately pointed to his Nets connection. The action picks up at about 27 minutes in.

"I've always been somebody's ambitious and motivated to improve in my life, so I jumped into it," he said, "as far as networking and meeting other scouts. Eventually, when I heard [the Nets] were moving to Brooklyn, my father, at the time he was state Assemblyman... the Barclays[Center] moved into his district, they had to go through him."

"I said 'Dad, you gotta pull this one, I need some help with this.' I did get help," Green recounted. But he also took the initiative.

He went to a New Jersey Nets game: "I was in the stands with my father. I said, 'Isn't that Mr. Ratner?" He said 'yeah.' I said, 'Dad, I'll be right back.' I went down to where he was standing.... I introduced myself, pointed to my father in the stands, said 'I'm Khalid, Roger's son, I just need your email.'"

The podcast hosts then saluted him for his initiative. Green did get Ratner's email: "And I did reach out to him, he actually never responded, but a couple of weeks later, the General Manager of the Nets responded on his behalf, at that time it was Kiki Vandeweghe." Actually, it had to be Stefanski, who occupied the position from 6/29/04 through 12/4/07.

"Then I got a sit down with him," Green recounted. "I told him that I was interested in becoming a scout. At that time, he only had a consultant position available. And I said, 'I'll take that, and I'll do the rest.'"

Indeed, as Green told it, he flew on his own dime to various pre-draft camps to evaluate talent. "I did reports for them. I just stayed glued to them. I went to all the practices. That's pretty much how I got in."

So, again, having the connection helped, but Green did the work.

Still a connection?

What's not quite clear is whether he's still doing the work.  NetsDaily initially noted that Green was described on the podcast as a “national scout” for the Nets, and Green’s LinkedIn account at the time of broadcast called him a team “talent scout."

Then again, a team rep told NetsDaily that Green “has not been part of the team’s scouting department” for most of a year but may have a role in community relations. (May? Either he does or
doesn't.)

Given his controversial comments in the podcast, and the fact that (as NetsDaily noted) the Nets typically don't make scouts available for interviews, it's unlikely the relationship will grow closer. Either way, shortly after the broadcast, Green's LinkedIn account was updated to say "Former Brooklyn Nets Scout."

The Brooklyn Nets do sponsor Green's youth basketball program, The Brooklyn Bridge Sports and Leadership Academy, as shown in the screenshot above.

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