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New Orleans Pelicans add Naismith Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon to coaching ranks

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Looks like another smart signing by David Griffin!

2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans are in the process of making one more splashy addition before the start of next week’s training camp. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Teresa Weatherspoon will be joining Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff for the upcoming season.

Avid basketball fans should be familiar with the name. Weatherspoon, affectionately known as T-Spoon, is regarded as one of the all-time WNBA greats. She was enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame earlier this month after an impressive but short eight-year career with the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks. However, it must be noted that she had spent time abroad in France, Italy and Russia playing basketball before the WNBA was born — she was 31 years of age during the league’s inaugural season back in 1997.

Most of Weatherspoon’s achievements occurred on the defensive side of the ball (4th all-time in steal percentage and 12th in defensive rating), but she is responsible for one of the most memorable shots in basketball history.

How’s that for grabbing a victory in a Finals series!?!

While Weatherspoon is best known for her playing exploits, she has remained active in basketball circles following her retirement. In 2006, she entered the coaching ranks. After a brief stint with the Westchester Phantoms, she returned to her alma mater, where she led Louisiana Tech to the NCAA championship in 1988, and went on to stand on the sidelines for six seasons, leading Tech to a 99-71 record.

Most recently, Weatherspoon was the Director of Player & Franchise Development for the New York Liberty, working alongside — you guessed it — Swin Cash.

According to Andrew Lopez, one of Weatherspoon’s primary responsibilities with the Pelicans includes a focus on player development, in particular of guard Josh Gray and forward Zylan Cheatham, both of New Orleans two-way contracts this season. However, considering her vast accomplishments and knowledge, especially on the defensive side of the ball, it’ll be interesting to watch for her revealing some possible valuable tidbits to Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson and Derrick Favors.

Welcome to New Orleans, Teresa!