Never say never: Lisa Leslie on coaching in the Big3 League and possibly coaching for the NBA

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Lisa Leslie knows basketball. That’s why it wasn’t much of a surprise when the three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medal winner was able to lead her Big3 league team, the Triplets, to victory in 2019, in her first year as coach.

Leslie tells Essence magazine that coaching a Big3 men’s team wasn’t that big of shock to her as a woman.

“I only get reminded we’re different when it’s time for my guys to change clothes in the locker room,” Leslie says, joking about giving her players their privacy.

“And then the second time is only in media,” she continues. “People ask me the question about being a woman and I’m like, ‘Oh, what about it?’ because it really is basketball. We all play this sport at such a high level and after a while, it’s like screens and picks and rolls and certain strategies that we all know. And then it’s hard effort and fight and that don’t got nothing to do with being a woman or a man, you know? You either come in and you’re mentally strong about it or you’re not.”

Considering Leslie’s glowing track record, including helping to coach the WNBA All-Stars to victory against the Tokyo-bound U.S. national team, it’s been asked whether the former-basketball star has any interest in coaching for the NBA.

“I would never say that I’m not interested,” Leslie shares. “For me, I love being a wife and a mom and I feel like it’s about sacrifices and the age of my children. Obviously, I’ve had those opportunities when my kids were younger and I wasn’t willing to do that. Now as my kids get older and they understand the routine of the house it’s a possibility.”

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