The New York Liberty are filling out positions on and off the court, establishing the tempo for the upcoming season.
Katie Smith will return as one of Bill Laimbeer’s assistant coaches. The other will be familiar with New York basketball fans as Herb Williams, a former player and assistant coach for the New York Knicks will be joining the staff.
But thats not all.
Teresa Weatherspoon, a team legend on the first Liberty teams that made three WNBA Final appearances in the franchise’ first three years and a very respected mind among players was named Director of Player Development.
Smith, who joined the Liberty staff last season after a hall of fame 14-year career, was a hands on coach and was instrumental in a lot of Liberty improvements in team play.
“Katie showed that she has the leadership and communications skills required to be an excellent coach, and expect her to contribute even more this year,” explained Head Coach Bill Laimbeer.
Williams played on the Knicks 1994 and 1999 NBA Finalists and put in 13 seasons as a coach for the same Knicks from 2001 to 2014. It goes without saying his experience and no-nonsense approach will be a pleasant surprise for the Liberty, especially a very pleased Head Coach.
“Herb will have instant credibility with our players,” Laimbeer proclaimed. “When he told me that he would be interested in the job, it was a no-brainer to bring him on our staff.”
To round out the changes, in this case the front office, is acquiring the services of Teresa Weatherspoon to oversee the development of players. This is an area where she has thrived in an essentially non-official role last year as recognized by the Senior Vice President of Business and Basketball Operations, Kristin Bernert.
“As a player, T-Sppon was legendary for her work ethic and constant dedication to improvement,” Bernert said. “She will lead our efforts in making our players the best they can be both on and off the court, with a primary focus on skill development this season.”
It appears that the New York Liberty have left no stone unturned in making 2015 a success story.