Teresa Weatherspoon during an NBA game.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

WNBA Legend Lands Head Coaching Job, Makes Jump From NBA

Teresa Weatherspoon, who is one of the best players in WNBA history and was an assistant coach in the NBA, is heading to Chicago.

On Tuesday night, it was announced that Teresa Weatherspoon — one of best players in WNBA history — will become the next head coach of the WNBA's Chicago Sky. 

The announcement, which was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, comes after weeks of discussions and negotiations between the Sky and Weatherspoon. It's worth noting that while the Chicago Sky have been seeking someone to fill vacancies for both their head coaching job and their general manager role (after the team's former head coach/GM James Wade stepped down on July 1), Weatherspoon will only be assuming the head coaching position. 

Hiring Weatherspoon — who spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans — is a significant step in the right direction for a franchise that has been floundering of late. While the Chicago Sky won the 2021 WNBA championship, most of that championship-winning roster has left the team. The Sky went 18-22 during the 2023 regular season — which, despite being good enough to get them in the playoffs, didn't keep them from then being swept by the Las Vegas Aces. 

Since the Sky don't have a pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, they'll likely need to rebuild their roster through free agency. Therefore, it might take a few years under Weatherspoon's guidance before the Sky return to championship contention.

Weatherspoon is a hire that Chicago Sky fans must be excited about, if only because of her accolades as a player. Weatherspoon played eight seasons with the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks from 1997-2004. During that time, she won two Defensive Player of the Year awards, made five All-Star teams, four All-WNBA teams, and drained "The Shot" — arguably the most famous shot in WNBA history — during Game 2 of the 1999 Finals. After her playing career ended, Weatherspoon was named to the league's 20th anniversary team in 2016 and was elected into the WNBA Hall of Fame in 2019. 

Yet Weatherspoon's coaching accomplishments are equally impressive. Her coaching career has spanned nearly two decades, including seven seasons as head coach for her alma mater, Louisiana Tech University, from 2008-2014, before serving as an assistant coach for the Pelicans from 2020-2023. 

With Weatherspoon now on board, the Sky's attention will turn toward their vacant general manager position. While hiring a head coach before a GM is unconventional (since a GM usually makes that decision), the Sky's ownership — which includes NBA legend Dwyane Wade — did so in order to acquire Weatherspoon before she was picked up by another team. 

Now it's Weatherspoon's turn to prove their decision was the right one. 

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