The Naismith Hall of Famer will join fellow New York Liberty Legend Swin Cash in New Orleans
According to a report via ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the New York Liberty’s Director of Player and Franchise Development and Olympian Teresa Weatherspoon will join the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans as a two-way player development coach.
According to the official press release from the Pelicans organization, Weatherspoon and recent hire AJ Diggs will play an “integral role” providing support to New Orleans’ younger players while also assisting the G League team, the Erie Bayhawks. In June, the Pelicans hired former New York Liberty All-Star and Director of Franchise Development Swin Cash to serve as the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations. Cash shared her excitement for Weatherspoon’s new opportunity on the Pelicans in an Instagram post hours after the announcement.
“Talk about High Character, Motivator and y’all already know Ultimate Competitor!” Cash said praising her colleague and friend. “Welcome to the @pelicansnba family Spoon.”
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Before her five years of service in player and franchise development for her former WNBA team the New York Liberty, Weatherspoon was previously the head coach of her Alma Mater Louisiana Tech University for six seasons. With a 99-71 record, she led the Lady Techsters to back to back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011. Just in early September, Weatherspoon was inducted into the 2019 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Known for her contagious energy and tight-knit rapport with all players who work with her, on Tuesday Weatherspoon was spotting helping New York Liberty Center Kiah Stokes train in the National Basketball Player Association’s facility in Manhattan.
“She’s in player development,” New York Liberty head coach Katie Smith said before New York’s last home game of the 2019 season. “[Weatherspoon] works with the players not only basketball-wise, but they can bounce stuff off. She’s part of our coaching staff. She’s just somebody who is a former player, someone who understands the organization, the fan base, the connection for fans who have been here from the start to the finish. She has the energy that she brings every day. She’s a huge part of it and she’s always bringing that energy.”
Weatherspoon embraced this role in the Liberty’s 2019 season, especially with sophomore All-Star Kia Nurse. Stemming all the way back to training camp in early May, Nurse and Weatherspoon were captured doing their own handshake. T-Spoon herself made sure her own fans could catch that on Instagram. On August 13 before their game against the Lynx, I caught Nurse and Weatherspoon engaging in some of their best fencing moves. They were palling around like sparring partners after Nurse’s pregame regimen.
Liberty fans on Twitter have even expressed their own sadness amid Weatherspoon’s departure for New Orleans, especially regarding the close friendship between the 23-year-old guard and the 53-year-old Hall of Famer. Nurse addressed the concerns: tweeting that their bond “will never change.”
“She’s meant so much to this league, obviously this franchise and what she’s done in her career,” Smith said. T-Spoon will be missed in the WNBA. She is a prolific figure that has acknowledged how basketball is a vehicle for social change and in her words, provides “assists” off the court, which is a methodology she brings with her to New Orleans and the NBA.
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