By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman was hired as an assistant coach of the Sacramento Kings on Friday, joining Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs as another female NBA assistant coach.
“I am very proud to be a Sacramento King and very honored,” Lieberman said in a phone interview.
The Kings were expected to make a formal announcement later Friday.
The 57-year-old Lieberman joins George Karl’s staff in the state capital just shy of a year after Hammon was hired by the Spurs, making her the first full-time paid female NBA assistant coach.
Lieberman has worked as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks’ D-League team _ leading the expansion team to the playoffs in its first season _ and also most recently as an assistant general manager of the organization. She was previously head coach and general manager of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock.
She brings a decorated resume to the Kings and Northern California. Lieberman is a two-time Olympian, three-time All American, two-time national champion in college for Old Dominion.
When Hammon was hired last summer, Lieberman offered her support and also congratulations to the league.
“The NBA does a really great job taking care of their people, and they’re not afraid to think outside of the box. I’m really proud of them,” she said then. “I’m proud of the Spurs. I’m proud of Adam Silver. It’s a great day for women, but it’s a great day for the NBA and how they feel about their growth going forward.”
Lieberman was one of the original players in the WNBA, coming out of retirement in 1997 at age 39 and getting drafted by the Phoenix Mercury for the league’s inaugural season. She would become the WNBA’s oldest player, then later broke her own mark on July 24, 2008, when she returned to play one game for the Shock at age 50.
Nicknamed “Lady Magic,” Lieberman was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame three years later. She has worked tirelessly with her charity through the Nancy Lieberman Foundation to help disadvantaged youth, hosting summer basketball camps and clinics in several cities around the country.