October 27, 2023
Locked on Women’s Basketball: New eras begin with Nate Tibbetts and Teresa Weatherspoon
Unpacking the latest coaching hires in the WNBA
On today’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Jackie Powell sits down with Defector’s Maitreyi Anantharaman to discuss what we should make of the two most recent hirings from both the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky. Maitreyi takes listeners inside why history could be repeating itself following the hiring of Nate Tibbetts, an NBA coach without any women’s basketball experience. The pair also discuss the uncertainty that remains in Chicago amid the great energy that came from new head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. Also, stay tuned for an Around the Horn style game of Buy or Sell.
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Anantharaman wrote a recent piece for Defector about the Mercury’s hiring of Tibbetts, and shares with Jackie some thoughts about the decision.
“What interested me about his hiring, and I think why I wanted to write about it — the only thing that we can really evaluate at this stage is the process. And yet part of that is the optics and how it bodes for coaching hires in this league going forward. And I think the big, big question I had that’s still sort of unanswered is — are we going to end up in this ironic situation…where these jobs become more attractive to NBA people and then, all of a sudden, women who have worked in the league, women who have worked in women’s basketball, are being crowded out?”Maitreyi Anantharaman
Later, Anantharaman shares thoughts on the Chicago Sky’s hiring of Teresa Weatherspoon. She compares the Tibbetts hiring to the hiring of a WNBA legend in five-time All-Star T-Spoon. Most recently, Weatherspoon worked for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans as a two-way player development coach.
“I think the the reception and vibes were a little bit better. And I think that has to do with with the name they hired, Teresa Weatherspoon — of course, a legendary player, someone also with NBA experience on an NBA bench. And I think someone who’s been loved at every stop of her playing career and coaching career.”Maitreyi Anantharaman
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