Nancy Lieberman is a basketball barrier breaker.
She was the first woman to try out for an NBA team. The first to play in a men’s pro basketball league, the USBL. The first to be a head coach in the NBA’s developmental league.
She knows what it takes to go where others haven't.
What, then, is the barrier keeping a woman from being a head coach in the NBA?
"Well, I can’t really tell you what the barrier is," Lieberman said, "but you know, more and more women are getting the opportunity to establish relationships not only with teams, but with the NBA."
And those relationships are key.
More than six weeks ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Billy Donovan parted ways. Oklahoma City has yet to hire a new head coach, a delay that may well be a cost-cutting move. Another day without a coach at a time the pandemic has slashed revenues is another day without a big salary on the books.
But eventually, the Thunder will need a head coach.
Might they hire a woman? Sure seems possible.