A former Duke basketball assistant coach might have taken a wild jab at Jon Scheyer.
Social media loves drama and there could be significant things stirring in the world of Duke basketball.
Moments after Dereck Lively heard his named called as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, former Blue Devil assistant coach Nolan Smith took to Twitter for an interesting post.
“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!!! It’s not a photo op for me to post on [Instagram] to help with recruiting.”
Many took the tweet to be a shot at Duke head coach Jon Scheyer, who was sitting at Lively’s table in the green room as ESPN cameras caught the two embracing shortly after the pick.
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Some also believed the message could be a dig at Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who was also seen by ESPN cameras and posted on Instagram with the family of Cason Wallace.
Wallace was selected No. 10 overall in the draft.
However, 247Sports reported earlier on Thursday that Dereck Lively invited Jon Scheyer to the Barclays Center to be with his family as he was drafted into the NBA and other members of the Duke coaching staff would be either in Brooklyn with Scheyer or at Dariq Whitehead’s private draft party in Manhattan.
Nolan Smith wife, Cheyna Smith, also took to Twitter to defend her husband’s post saying, “Nolan’s been saying this for years. Everything isn’t a shot at people. Y’all are so annoying. If people were invited then wouldn’t this tweet NOT apply to them? Thought so.”
Still, people surrounding the Duke program on Twitter, and very plugged into the details of the relationship between Smith and Scheyer, think it’s about the Blue Devi head coach.
Ironically, John Calipari also fired off his own tweet about the NBA Draft about 25 minutes after Nolan Smith.
Duke basketball icons with long and rich history
It seems strange that Nolan Smith’s tweet would be directed towards Jon Scheyer since both have a long and prosperous history together.
The two were assistant coaches on the Duke staff under Mike Krzyzewski since 2016.
Scheyer had been on the staff since 2014 as an assistant before being promoted to an associate head coaching role in 2018 and, eventually, the program’s head coach in 2022.
Smith was originally named to the staff as a special assistant and promoted to director of basketball operations and player development in two years later in 2018 before becoming an assistant coach in 2021.
Nolan Smith left the Blue Devils following the final season under Krzyzewski to join the Louisville Cardinals, the program his father starred for, and become an assistant coach on Kenny Payne’s new coaching staff.
Louisville finished the season with a 4-28 record.
The two also played together at Duke for three seasons, beginning in 2007-08, and helped lead the Blue Devils to its fourth National Championship in 2010.
Regardless of the intentions of the tweet, a good social media battle is always entertaining to the public.