Hall of Famer Dawn Staley on coaching in NBA: 'I surely can stand in front of men and lead them'

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It doesn't matter who she is coaching, Hall of Famer Dawn Staley knows she will have success. Staley spoke about the possibility of a woman being hired to coach an NBA team, telling the New York Times she's confident a woman can thrive in that role.

Both Staley and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon are reportedly slated to be interviewed by NBA teams with openings soon. Staley doesn't doubt she would excel if given the opportunity, according to the New York Times.

"I come with a lot of credentials,” she said. “I surely have the confidence. I surely can stand in front of men and lead them. First-team All-Stars. MVPs. I’m OK with that.”

Staley told the New York Times she wasn't campaigning for an NBA job. She did, however, speak about whether she thought she would perform well in the role, and address the criticisms the first woman coach in the NBA would face.

When asked about her lack of experience coaching in the NBA, Staley responded that she is a "quick learner."

She also has plenty of experience as a coach already. During her Hall-of-Fame WNBA career, Staley started coaching at Temple. After eight seasons with the team, Staley left to coach South Carolina. She is also the coach of the U.S. women's basketball team.

Staley also noted that the first woman coach in the NBA would have higher expectations placed on them.

“A lot of people would be out there, just waiting for you to make a mistake, waiting for you to be wrong,” she said. “There’s a whole dynamic that men, white or Black, just don’t have to think about. It’s a female thing. The expectation will be so much greater than the male coach. So much greater.”

Dawn Staley, Becky Hammon could coach in NBA

It might not be long before Staley — or someone like Hammon — gets a shot at coaching an NBA team. Staley has built up a reputation as a great player and coach over the years, and moving to the NBA wouldn't look out of place compared to everything else she's put on her resume.

Hammon was also a standout as a player. And while she doesn't have as much coaching experience as Staley, Hammon's role has come in the NBA, and under one of the greatest NBA coaches of all-time in Gregg Popovich. It's only a matter of time until Hammon lands a head coaching job in the league.

Hammon is expected to meet with both the Orlando Magic and the Portland Trail Blazers about the team's openings. Staley will reportedly meet with the Trail Blazers as well.

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