The New Orleans Pelicans have added another familiar female figure to their sideline, as they have hired former WNBA All-Star Teresa Weatherspoon to be an assistant coach, the team officially announced on Thursday. Weatherspoon will have a player development-based role with the team, specifically with the Pelicans' two-way players, guard Josh Gray and forward Zylan Cheatham.
After eight seasons in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks, Weatherspoon, 53, recently served as director of player and franchise development for the Liberty, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. She also served as coach of the woman's Louisiana Tech basketball team from 2008 to 2014.
"I am thrilled to welcome and AJ [Diggs} and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie."
Weatherspoon is the second former WNBA player that the Pelicans have added this offseason, as the team also hired former WNBA All-Star and champion Swin Cash to a front office role. Cash retired from the WNBA in 2016 after 15 seasons. Since then, she has served as the director of franchise development for the Liberty, alongside Weatherspoon, as well as an NBA analyst on NBA TV.
After finishing 13th in the West last season, the Pelicans are hoping that the additions they made over the offseason to the sideline, front office, and roster (hello, Zion) will help them achieve legitimate contender status in the Western Conference.