3-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie says she could help coach Clippers


In terms of the Los Angeles Clippers’ coaching and front-office, everything is still relatively new. Doc Rivers has been head coach for just two seasons and it’s only been a little over a year since Steve Ballmer took over as the owner after the racism based debacle with Donald Sterling. Now, we’ve heard new reports just this week that there’s a front-office ‘power struggle’ surrounding president of business operations Gillian Zucker.

Essentially, no matter how well the Clippers have done to win at least 56 games in each of the last three seasons, they’re still in relatively new surroundings. Especially now that they’ve just signed a host of new players to rebuild their entire bench this offseason. Yet all of this makes their recent rise to become an elite team even more impressive.

Despite their growing success, could the Clippers benefit even further from another knowledgeable mind joining the coaching staff? If one benefit could be helping DeAndre Jordan expand his offense, improve his footwork and develop a post-up game, then the answer is a resounding “yes”. In regards to that area of weakness for the Clippers, eight-time WNBA All-Star, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, three-time MVP and four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie believes she could help.

In a recent interview on Larry King Live, Leslie said that coaching in the NBA is something that she is “totally capable” of doing. Here’s what else she had to say:

"“I could coach. I haven’t had the desire to coach because I have little kids, with a eight year old and a five year old I really enjoy being a wife and a mom, and cooking there and being there with my 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.”"

Nov 26, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon (R) talks to shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) during the first half against the Indiana Pacers at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not this is something that could ever actually happen is uncertain, although with the San Antonio Spurs hiring Becky Hammon — who became the first full-time female assistant coach in history — the league has taken a positive step forward in giving women a chance to share their own knowledge and expertise in the NBA.

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Lisa Leslie — a 6’5″ center for the Los Angeles Sparks — was certainly several steps above her opponents during her WNBA career from 1997-2009, as she retired with averages of 17.3 points on 47 percent shooting, 9.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. On top of that, Leslie also appeared on an All-WNBA team for every season of her 12 year career except for one.

No matter how impressive Leslie’s career is, though, she merely said that she could help the Clippers and no more. So, there’s really reason to expect that she’ll join be joining the team’s coaching staff any time soon.

That being said, if she does make her way into the NBA by joining a team as an assistant coach, it would be great for the league to have another woman in a coaching position in addition to Becky Hammon with the Spurs.

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