Women’s Involvement in the NBA

By: Colleen B
Posted: September 27, 2018

I found this article  explaining the NBA’s new plan to to get more women into leadership roles. According to the article, the NBA sent out a memo yesterday (Wednesday) and it was obtained by The Associated Press. This memo included plans to hold workshops in Atlanta and Los Angeles in mid-November on diversity and inclusion efforts .There is also an event planned in North Carolina over the All-Star break to expand the amount of females showing their talent in different basketball operations roles. In a separate memo, Adam Silver, the NBA Commish, told teams that he wants to see more women hired around the league. He said he wants to see women “particularly [in] leadership and supervisory positions”.

To do some further research, I Google’d (is this a verb?) how many women were employed by the NBA, and I found dozens of articles about the WNBA…cool, but not what I wanted. I did find this empowering article by Tiffany Davis from 2 years ago. She wrote, “Women continue to make herstory in the NBA, but there is still a ways to go-especially in the front office.

In both Davis’ opinion and in my opinion, perhaps 2014 was the most monumental year for women in the NBA. Michele Roberts, a Washington DC based attorney was voted as the executive director of the NBPA (National Basketball Players’ Association). The NBPA is a union that seeks to protect the financial and health interests of men currently playing in the NBA. 

My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.” -Michele Roberts

A month later, Becky Hammon was named the first full-time, paid female assistant coach in the NBA. That summer, she went on to be the first female head coach in the NBA summer league.

Things have gone well from there, as Nancy Lieberman became a full-time assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. Other successful females in the league include Jeanie Buss, Gillian Zucker, Amanda Green, and Gail Miller.

“In a league of thirty professional teams and at least one hundred times that in front office staff alone, the best path to power for a woman in the NBA, at this time, is still to date or marry one of the players.” -Tiffany Davis

The article cover photo is of Gail Miller. Gail inherited the Utah Jazz from her husband, Larry Miller, in 2009. In 2017, she announced that the team would belong to Utah forever, as she transferred the team to be owned by a legacy trust, overseen by the Larry H. Miller Group. I’d like to note, however, that she is the Owner/Chairman of the Larry H. Miller Group, so I would still consider her the owner of the team. Alone, her net worth is about $1.75 billion.

Photo via Salt Lake Tribune.

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