The Boston Celtics have reportedly extended an assistant coach offer to former WNBA star and Olympic champion Kara Lawson, ESPN reports. Currently an ESPN analyst, Lawson has reportedly received several coaching offers in recent years prior to accepting the Celtics gig. According to league sources, Lawson accepted the offer on Thursday, after she was presented with the opportunity to work alongside Boston coach Brad Stevens.
The San Antonio Spurs' Becky Hammon was named a full-time assistant coach in 2014, and in 2018, she leveled up as a full-time assistant head coach. In fact, Hammon's 2014 promotion made her the first female to earn such a title across all four major U.S. sports. Prior to starting the 2018-2019 season, WNBA star Lindsey Harding made history when she became the first black woman to become a full-time assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Earlier this month, the Cleveland Cavaliers followed suit when they hired University of California, Berkeley women's coach Lindsay Gottlieb as an assistant to John Beilein. Her recruitment from the collegiate level to the NBA made her the first female college head coach to ascend to the professional league.
One of the best WNBA players in history, Swin Cash, similarly made her way to the front office earlier this month when she was named the New Orleans Pelican's Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development.
Nancy Lieberman, WNBA legend, former Sacramento Kings assistant coach, and now the head coach of Power — a team comprised of retired NBA players in the BIG3 basketball league, told reporters this week that she anticipates a woman will become an NBA head coach. “Adam Silver has said numerous times within the last five or six months that he would like to see a woman head coach in the NBA sooner than later,” Lieberman said. “I don’t know when, but it will happen.”
In addition to the fearless women listed above, several other assistant coaches have defied gender expectations and made it to the coaching staff, including Natalie Nakase (Clippers), Jenny Boucek (Mavericks), Kristi Toliver (Wizards), and Chasity Melvin (Hornets)—first female assistant coach hired through the NBA’s Assistant Coaches Program.
Here's to the women making history in the NBA.