Earlier this year, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver addressed the need for more hiring of females in the NBA.
“The goal is going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league,” he said. “Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball,” said Silver at the Economic Club of Washington.
Major strides were achieved back in 2014 when the Spurs hired Becky Hammon as an assistant on their coaching staff. Later, a few more teams hired women into roles including assistant general manager and assistant coach.
Most recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers hired Cal women’s head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. She is the first female coach to leave a college coaching position for the NBA. This hire now brings the total number of women assistants working with NBA teams to seven.
Not only does the actual hiring of Gottlieb set a tone for other women, but so does the encouragement that got her here.
Ever since she was a little girl, Gottlieb has set her dreams high. She wanted to play shortstop for the Yankees and then she wanted to play in the NBA. She even told her parents that one day she would be a general manager after watching the NBA Draft.
Throughout that time her parents always told her to go for it and that she could achieve anything. Before she was hired by the Cavs, she received even more positive reinforcement to take the job from her peers.
“There’s been conversations in the NBA about how to get women involved. I’ve had some high-level, philosophical discussions with a number of people,”said Gottlieb in an interview with Michelle Voepel at EpsnW. “I’ve always loved the NBA. And I’ve had few people I’m close with in the NBA who said, ‘You could do this.'”
There is no doubt that encouraging our young women to set their sights on whatever they want to be, even if that job is traditionally held by men, has a positive impact on them.
Gottlieb and other women in the NBA will continue to serve an important role not only for their respective teams, but also as role models for women to dream big and achieve as they have.
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