Becky Hammon broke through the barrier as an assistant coach with the Spurs last season (and then won Summer League as the Spurs coach). This fall Nancy Lieberman will take to the sidelines as a Kings’ assistant coach under George Karl.
Is Lisa Leslie next?
The three-time WNBA MVP, 12-time All-WNBA Team, four-time gold medal winning, and brand new Hall of Famer — she is inducted this weekend — was a guest on Larry King Live (yes, that Larry King, he’s still around) and he asked her about coaching in the NBA. She tossed the ball into Doc Rivers’ court.
“I could coach. I haven’t had the desire to coach because I have little kids but I would never say never that’s definitely something I’m totally capable of doing in the NBA…..
“I definitely think that I have some knowledge of the game that would definitely help their (Clippers) postgame, post players, footwork, and how to defend offensively and defensively. For sure, I could help that team immediately.”
Blake Griffin‘s footwork is underrated — it’s good, and he plays to his strengths well. But DeAndre Jordan, Cole Aldrich, and Josh Smith? If they were smart enough to listen Leslie knows what she is talking about (if you’ve ever been fortunate to talk the game a little with her, as I have, you’d know her knowledge shows through).
Leslie may not be at the point in her life where this works — being an NBA assistant coach is long, grueling hours. You better love watching and breaking down game film, eating fast food, then working with players in the gym on their weaknesses. And travel, you better be okay with ridiculous travel.
If it’s not Leslie, another woman is going to walk through that door soon. Then another. And another. Until we don’t think twice about it.