clear
Wednesday October 17th, 2018 11:09AM

Next step for NBA is hiring women in positions of power

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sees one simple way for both the NBA and women to mark real progress in the league.

Hire more women in positions of power.

"I think there just has to be more, more of the same," said Popovich, who during the offseason promoted assistant coach Becky Hammon, moving her one step closer to a head coaching seat. "There are more Beckys out there, they just have to be noticed and given the opportunity by people who are wise enough and courageous enough to do it and not just sit in the old paradigm."

And not just on the bench, but on the business side of the NBA as well.

The NBA routinely gets high marks for its diversity efforts and is widely viewed as a leader on social issues. Still, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes the league needs to be better, and he made his feelings known in a memo to teams in the wake of the Dallas Mavericks' embarrassing scandal.

Several NBA teams tout statistics about women in their workforce, but beyond a handful — including Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson — the next step for the league seems to be more women in positions of power such as CEOs and COOs.

Memphis guard Mike Conley said it's important for basketball, business and society itself to have women in positions of authority.

"We welcome it, and we do want to see more of that," Conley said, "and I think that will help bridge that gray area and all the things that have been happening with the Mavs and situations like that and hopefully it will never occur" again.

The NBA earned an A+ for racial hiring practices but a B for its gender hiring practices this summer from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports . That puts the NBA "significantly above" other professional sports, even as the number of women hired at the team level dropped for a third straight year with the percentage of women in team vice presidents and professional staff dipping as well, according to the report's author, Richard Lapchick.

When the NBA began investigating a report of sexual harassment and improper workplace conduct involving the former team president, the Mavericks did not have one woman at the executive level. Owner Mark Cubanhired former AT&T senior executive Cynthia Marshall as CEO and president in February , promoted four women to executive roles and now has eight women among 18 leadership roles.

A memo obtained by The Associated Press last month shows the NBA plans workshops in Atlanta and Los Angeles in mid-November on the diversity and inclusion efforts. The NBA also set up an anonymous tip line after the Mavs' story broke.

NBA teams surveyed by The Associated Press say they've already been holding seminars on workplace conduct and putting women in leadership roles.

Irina Pavlova represented the Nets on the Board of Governors before leaving last year and was replaced by a woman as president of the company that runs the Nets, Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum. The Toronto Raptors have Teresa Resch as vice president of basketball operations and player development, and Dr. Lisa Callahan is chief medical officer for both the Knicks and the WNBA's Liberty.

The Miami Heat recently hired Ruth Riley Hunter as its newest television and radio analyst, a move in motion before Silver talked about wanting more women in the NBA.

Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace has seen the number of women in the NBA jump dramatically since he joined the league in 1986 and believes its heading in the right direction. Chantal Hassard has been with the Grizzlies since the franchise was in Vancouver and is entering her third season as VP of team operations and player programs. Memphis also just brought back Nicki Gross as a basketball analyst after she was the NBA G League's only woman assistant in 2015 with Iowa.

"I think it adds a viewpoint, a skillset that is very beneficial for the teams," Wallace said.

Silver wants teams hiring more women, including jobs with power, so the NBA is going to help. The NBA plans an event at the All-Star break in Charlotte, North Carolina, in February to grow the "pipeline of female talent in basketball operations roles."

Lapchick said hiring more women has to be a combination of efforts by both the NBA and its teams.

"Teams saw the results in Dallas with no women in leadership to stop/confront bad behavior, which I believe is not uncommon toward women in the workplace in and out of sport," Lapchick told the AP. "Adam has the respect to push and I am impressed by the NBA's actions after the decline in gender grade when the Report Card was published followed by the post investigation in Dallas."

Ethan Casson, CEO of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA's Lynx, said it can't be a quota approach — and believes there are qualified women in the candidate pools. About 40 percent of Minnesota's full-time employees are women with 35 percent of department heads and above women. He noted how transparent the NBA and its teams have been on this issue.

"It's constantly challenging your organization's thinking and creating what that environment is, and that's what makes the diversity inclusion so important," Casson said. "You're a better organization when you're built that way from the ground up."

___

AP Basketball Writers Tim Reynolds and Brian Mahoney and AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell, Andrew Seligman, Janie McCauley, Anne M. Peterson, Schuyler Dixon, Pat Graham, Tom Withers, Howard Fendrich, Brett Martel, Kyle Hightower and AP freelance writers Raul Dominguez, Clay Bailey and Ian Harrison contributed to this report.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Business, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
3:06AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Next step for NBA is hiring women in positions of power
Job opportunity? Next step for NBA to improve its good marks in diversity is by hiring women in positions of power
3:05AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Asian stocks fall after IMF downgrades economic outlook
Asian stocks retreat as IMF downgrades economic outlook
2:40AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Holt 1st with postseason cycle, Red Sox rout Yankees 16-1
Brock Holt became the first player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game and the Boston Red Sox routed the New York Yankees 16-1 to grab a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL Division Series
1:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
'Embarrassing': Yanks routed by Red Sox 16-1, trail ALDS 2-1
The New York Yankees absorbed the most-lopsided loss in their postseason history, routed by the Boston Red Sox 16-1 in the AL Division Series
1:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
Brees makes history in style, Saints thrash Redskins 43-19
Brees breezes past Manning for all-time record in yards passing as Saints thrash Redskins 43-19
1:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Spurs setback: Point guard Dejounte Murray lost to torn ACL
The San Antonio Spurs have lost point guard Dejounte Murray to a torn ACL
6:34PM ( 8 hours ago )
Spurs setback: lose point guard Dejounte Murray to torn ACL
The San Antonio Spurs have lost point guard Dejounte Murray to a torn ACL
1:27PM ( 13 hours ago )
Kevin Durant feels the love in NBA's return to Seattle
Kevin Durant got off the bus inside the loading dock of KeyArena about two hours before tipoff and made a quick glance toward the court visible through the tunnel
1:51AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Online Basketball
Carbon tax gets renewed attention but still faces resistance
Carbon taxes have gotten renewed attention thanks to an alarming new report on climate change and a Nobel Prize victory by two American economists, but neither is likely to break down political resistance
1:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Japanese tycoon going on SpaceX rocket says he trusts Musk
Japanese online retail tycoon planning trip to the noon on SpaceX rocket says he respects and trusts fellow entrepreneur Elon Musk, despite his recent troubles
1:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Push to toughen foreign lobbying law stalls amid opposition
A push to give the Justice Department more enforcement authority over the lucrative and at times shadowy world of foreign lobbying has stalled amid opposition from pro-business groups, nonprofits and privacy advocates
12:24AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Spoelstra's new challenge: Combining coaching and fatherhood
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra became a dad earlier this year, and now he's learning how to combine his two full-time jobs
1:44PM ( 5 days ago )
Rockets roll in Melo's debut as Harden, Paul each reach 20
Carmelo Anthony fit right in and James Harden and Chris Paul picked up right where they left off
1:55AM ( 6 days ago )
Kyrie Irving on flat-Earth comments: 'I'm sorry'
Kyrie Irving tries to put the flat-Earth story to bed, apologizes for what he said
8:13PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - NBA
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
3:06AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Asian stocks fall after IMF downgrades economic outlook
Asian stocks retreat as IMF downgrades economic outlook
2:40AM ( 32 minutes ago )
IMF downgrades outlook for world economy to 3.7 pct. growth
IMF downgrades outlook for world economy to 3.7 percent growth, citing higher rates and growing trade tensions
2:35AM ( 37 minutes ago )
US envoy on Afghan peace takes his mission to Pakistan
America's newly appointed diplomat on resolving Afghanistan's 17- year war visits Pakistan to seek Islamabad's help
2:33AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Eagles' Joe Walsh tells his addiction story at gala evening
Eagles singer, songwriter, guitarist describes his rock bottom as alcoholic
2:24AM ( 48 minutes ago )