The Chicago Sky are hiring WNBA legend Teresa Weatherspoon as their new head coach, according to The Athletic. Details of the contract are still unknown, though Weatherspoon will only be taking on the coaching role, and the Sky will make a separate hire for their open general manager position, per the report.
At the close of the season, the Sky were the only remaining franchise that had one person with dual coaching and GM responsibilities. That issue came to head in July, when James Wade, who made a number of short-sighted personnel decisions last offseason, abruptly resigned both roles to take a job with the Toronto Raptors. Emre Vatansever took over both positions on an interim basis for the remainder of the season, but was not retained.
While the Sky snuck into the playoffs, they finished the regular season at 18-22 and were swept in the first round by the Las Vegas Aces. They are nowhere near contention, and do not own their first-round pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, which is expected to feature a historically great class. And, in 2025, they owe the Dallas Wings a first-round pick swap, which as of now looks likely to be called in.
Those are the circumstances Weatherspoon will find herself in when she officially takes over in the near future. The Sky are going to have to rebuild through free agency and, when possible, trades. As a result, it’s almost certainly going to be multiple years before the Sky are truly back in the mix.
Weatherspoon, 57, played eight seasons with the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks from 1997-2004. She won two Defensive Player of the Year awards, made five All-Star teams and four All-WNBA teams and hit one of the most famous shots in league history in Game 2 of the 1999 Finals. After her retirement, she was named to the league’s 20th anniversary team in 2016 and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2019.
Her coaching career has spanned nearly two decades, and includes stints in both the NCAA, where she led her alma mater, Louisiana Tech, for six seasons, and the NBA, where she served as an assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans from 2020-2023. Weatherspoon’s hiring means that seven of the league’s 12 head coaches will have played in the WNBA.