Earlier this month we highlighted Nancy Lieberman being honored with the “Bill Walsh Champion of Change Award” at the 3rd Annual All-Stars Helping Kids luncheon. Nancy’s speech at the luncheon was great but I think it is her actions that truly set her apart.
So consistent with past pioneering acts and roles, this HOF basketball player, Olympic champion, Women’s Sports Foundation president, etc. was named coach of the NBA D-League’s new team in Frisco, Texas. Kelly Webster from ESPNDallas wrote about this first-of-its-kind hiring.
HOFer Nancy Lieberman with HOFer Ronnie Lott at the Sports, Business, and Philanthropy Luncheon in New York.
You can read the full article by Kelly http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/columns/story?columnist=webster_kelly&id=4727521, with an excerpt below.
Lieberman continues to break barriers
Nancy Lieberman has broken more than a few gender barriers during her life. So on Nov. 5, when she was announced as the head coach of the Mavericks’ new D-League affiliate in Frisco, Texas, that fact that she would be the first woman to coach a men’s professional basketball team wasn’t the first thing on her mind.
“Donnie [Nelson] was going to get killed by the media,” she said. “I was more concerned for him because this is normal for me. But here’s this incredible, legit man who’s worked incredibly hard to establish who he is … and I was thinking, man, people are going to think he’s just nuts.”
If you don’t know Lieberman, her initial response may surprise you. But if you have spent any time with her, you recognize that as who she really is. As a woman who has spent most of her adult life being the first, she doesn’t stop and say, Look what I did. Instead, she reverts to her classic point guard play and thinks of everyone around her.
So how did the former player known as “Lady Magic” become the first female coach of a men’s pro team? She says she’s not sure exactly what the thought process was but thinks it was a random run-in with Nelson that sparked the idea.
(The article continues at http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/columns/story?columnist=webster_kelly&id=4727521)