Over time female coaches in the NBA became a more familiar face in a male-dominated world. A few women have, however, shown their value by contributing to their teams and leading them to greatness. We will explore some of these women who were the first to break through the male-dominated barriers.
The first woman to set a new trend when hired in 2009 as head coach of NBA Development Team, Texas Legends. Currently, Lieberman also called “Lady Magic” is an assistant coach to the Sacramento Kings and she is a head coach to the BIG3’s Power, leading them to a 2018 BIG3 Championship. Coming from a career as a professional basketball player and from a coaching position in the Women’s National Basketball Association, she is considered one of the most significant contributors to women’s basketball in history. When she was hired in 2009 as a coach for the Texas Legends, she was the first female coach ever hired to coach a male team on NBA level. When she became the assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings, she was the second female assistant coach ever contracted.
2018 was the year to see a female coach hired for the LA Clippers. This is not the first milestone for her. During her playing career, she played two NWBL seasons. First for the San Jose Spiders followed by the San Diego Siege. She was the first-ever Asian-American player in the league.
Becoming the first woman coaching in D-League when hired by Iowa Energy, another NBA Development League. Currently employed by the Raptors 905 as an assistant coach and still the only female coach in D-League. Gross was a soccer player for Seton Hall and mostly a basketball fan who started as an Assistant Video Coordinator at Bakersfield Jam.
This retired Russian-American professional basketball player is the assistant coach to the San Antonio Spurs. During her playing career, she represented to San Antonio Stars and New York Liberty. She also played for the Russian National Team during the Olympics of 2008 and 2012. When the Spurs hired Hammon in 2014 as an assistant coach, she became the first full-time female assistant coach in the entire history of the NBA. This record stretched even further than the NBA since this position made Hammon the first female assistant coach in any of the four North American major professional leagues. When she was hired than in 2015 as head coach for the Spurs during their Summer League, she became the first-ever female head coach.
Hired in 2017 by Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach and then moving to Dallas Maverick also an assistant coach in 2018. She was also the first-ever pregnant female coach, as she became a mother during the Maverick’s 2018-19 season. Thus showing that not even pregnancy would hold back a woman if she is set on achieving her goals and making her mark within a predominantly masculine industry.