Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

George Shinn, majority owner of the NBA's New Orleans Hornets, has interviewed Michael Cooper as a possible candidate for the Hornets' coaching vacancy.

Cooper has done a marvelous job with the Sparks. He has previously indicated that he did not want a job in the NBA, but that things might be different in the future. Personally, if Cooper does have aspirations for coaching in the NBA, he can surely find a better job than the Hornets.

But this raises an interesting question. WNBA teams are so eager to hire head coaches with NBA experience, whether as former coaches or players. Are they willing to pass over female candidates with experience in women's basketball (either collegiately or international) for people with NBA ties (even without head coaching experience or experience coaching women) who may only be using the WNBA as a leaping point to get to the NBA? Cooper clearly has not used the WNBA to further NBA coaching aspirations. He was an assistant coach for the Sparks under Orlando Woolridge in 1999, and he is in his 5th season as head coach of the Sparks. His commitment to the league is unquestioned, and his promotional efforts for the league during the offseason have been tremendous. But given that so many individuals with NBA ties have been hired recently, it is certainly understandable that there are going to be questions about what their future intentions are...