- Dawn Staley seemingly confirmed her interest in coaching in the NBA on “Today” Monday morning.
- The Team USA and SC Gamecocks coach is reportedly in contention for NBA head coaching positions.
- “You definitely have to consider it,” Staley said to “Today” co-host Craig Melvin.
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Could Dawn Staley become the first woman head coach in NBA history?
According to the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball coach – who is reportedly one of a handful of women in contention for some of the league’s vacant head coaching positions – “you have to consider it.”
Staley appeared on “Today” Monday morning alongside WNBA superstars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi to unveil the USA Basketball team for the Tokyo Olympics. The 51-year-old retired superstar won three Olympic gold medals in her playing days before taking over as head coach of Team USA in 2017.
In addition to discussing the 12-woman roster assembled for this summer’s games, Staley addressed rumors about her NBA coaching future with the show’s co-host, Craig Melvin.
“If called, would I answer?” Staley said, repeating Melvin’s question. “I think you have to answer each call. Whether or not I take that leap and leave a place like South Carolina – that’s the biggest question.”
Melvin didn’t let her off the hook so easily. Without missing a beat, he followed up by asking Staley simply: “Would you consider it?”
“At this stage of the game, I think you have to consider it all,” Staley said. “Home is where the heart is. But at the same time, when you have an opportunity to be something different and open up the doors for other… women, you definitely have to consider it.”
“But you also have to be ready for it, too,” she added. “And that’s a big leap that no other college coach has ever done and been successful.”
Staley has seen nothing but success in her coaching career thus far. While still playing professional basketball in the WNBA, Staley – a six-time All-Star point guard – took over Temple’s women’s basketball program. She moved on to become head coach at South Carolina in 2008 and has lifted the program to incredible heights in the years since.
In 2017 – the same year she led the Gamecocks to their first national championship – Staley became the USA Women’s National Team head coach, and she’ll now lead the heavy frontrunners as they pursue a seventh-consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
Last week, Staley was listed as one of the “top head-coaching candidates” for the open Portland Trail Blazers head coaching position, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. And while a representative for South Carolina women’s basketball confirmed to WCSC that Portland had requested an interview with Staley, it was unclear until now whether the 2020 Naismith Coach of the Year would legitimately consider switching over to the men’s game.
Check out the clip of Staley’s interview on “Today” below:
-Meredith Cash (@mercash22) June 21, 2021