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'I'm coming here to stir things up': Teresa Weatherspoon officially introduced as Chicago Sky head coach
The Chicago Sky officially entered a new era on Tuesday morning, introducing Teresa Weatherspoon as the team’s new head coach.
What was immediately apparent is that not only is the personnel new, but the team has also experienced a change in energy, approach, values, and presentation.
Weatherspoon was joined on the podium by co-owner and operating chairman Nadia Rawlinson as well as star player Kahleah Copper.
Speaking to change, being different, and standing out, was this presentation from the franchise — with three African American women in positions of power, deciding just where and how fast their desires and aspirations are heading.
“2023 was a consequential year for the Sky, and a nod to our future potential,” co-Rawlinson said.
There was plenty that occurred last season, from injury adversity to a midseason coaching change that ultimately enabled the opportunity for these changes to occur.
A feeling of gray and uneasiness regarding the future and direction of the franchise received clarity two months ago when Copper elected to sign a multi-year extension instead of opting for free agency this offseason.
That has now been coupled by principal owner Michael Alter identifying Weatherspoon as the perfect person to guide the franchise.
Weatherspoon comes in with a bevy of experience at multiple levels of basketball, not just as a player, but also as a coach in multiple roles.
In part of her opening statement, she mentioned, “ When God solidifies, and glorifies your position, and your destination, no one can take this away from you. It’s yours.”
Plenty was already known about Weatherspoon’s leadership and valuing of faith, but if there was ever a tone to be set in an initial conversation and availability, this was it.
She then included part of her closing statement, “They don’t call me Spoon for nothing. I’m coming here to stir things up.”
This was said with a sternness and directness that communicated this was not a performative statement, but rather a mission statement of sorts.
She then mentioned, “We are geared up to do the right thing. We want to be different, so we gotta do different, and we gotta look different.”
“We will take over this town. You can mark it.”
Kahleah Copper is a big part of the Chicago Sky’s future plans
Weatherspoon made sure to mention that she plans on Copper being a big part of that plan.
Weatherspoon emphasized “paying it forward” and bestowing all the knowledge and experiences she’s compiled upon Copper.
“It’s my duty to pour into her, and to pour into every player that’s a part of this organization,” Weatherspoon said.
The depths of gratitude, candidness, and straight-shooting confidence she displayed were immediately infectious, and more than well-received.
There is a bar of leadership, accountability, and being an example of the behaviors she desires to see, that she showed, that left an impression that suggests the franchise is in great hands, and the direction is trending to the top — on the floor and off it.
In my opportunities to speak with Coach, she spoke very assuringly, leaving nothing to external driving forces or doubt.
It will be intriguing to see who she decides to fill the roles of assistants on her brain trust, especially seeing the level of basketball connections she has under her belt as a Hall of Famer.
An affirming answer to this question gave great insight into her perspective on the pieces she is sure to be coaching as the roster stands, while indirectly communicating that any pieces that do come in via free agency, will also be on the same page and bought in as well.
It was very telling to see Weatherspoon correct, then inform me of just what their approach will be in regards to competing with the teams that represented in the WNBA Finals for 2023.
The emphasis on establishing an identity early, and doing things their way, on their terms, has a lingering energy that suggests all will be onboard and in alignment with her core principles, giving the team an entire new flavor and feel.
The Sky are on track to build even more upon the successes previously enjoyed, and in a whole new way.
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