In hopes of bringing home a title one day to New Orleans, the Pelicans have hired one of the most successful women’s basketball minds to a senior front office role, according to a league source. The news was first was reported by ESPN's Zach Lowe.
Swin Cash, who won a pair of national championships in college with UConn and three more titles during her WNBA career, has been added as the team’s vice president of basketball operations and team development, according to the report. Fitting with executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin’s mentality of hiring who he sees as strong, diverse basketball minds, Cash will fill a variety of roles, including scouting and player development on a and off the court.
“When you go about building this type of infrastructure, you don’t hire roles, you hire people,” Griffin said during an interview with local reporters at his hiring ceremony back in April. “We need to get the right people on the bus, and we’ll figure out what to call each other once we’re rolling to the right place.”
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Griffin has stated multiple times since he was hired in mid-April that one of the biggest reasons in his choice to take New Orleans’ lead front office position was team owner Gayle Benson’s willingness to invest heavily in revamping the team’s personnel structure to add some of the best minds in the league to guide the team’s next chapter.
Later in April, he hired longtime team trainer Aaron Nelson, a two-decade league veteran who is widely regarded as one of the best in the league, as the team’s new vice president of player care and performance. Two weeks later, the team hired former Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon as the Pelicans’ next general manager. Langdon was one of several candidates the team interviewed before hiring Griffin to fill the VP role.
During her extensive playing career, Cash won college basketball titles with the Huskies in 2000 and 2002. As the No. 2 overall selection in the 2002 WNBA Draft by Detroit, she won a pair of titles with the Shock in 2003 and 2006, leading them from the worst record in the league in 2002 (9-23) to the top of the podium a year later as a rookie.
In 2008, she was traded for the No. 4-overall pick in that year’s draft to Seattle, and two years later helped bring the Storm a title. Cash would then be traded to the Chicago Sky in 2012 and the Atlanta Dream in 2014 before finishing her career with the New York Liberty in 2016. She helped Team USA capture Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2012, was named to four All-Star teams and is one of two players in WNBA history to amass 5,000 points, 2,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.
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Since retiring, she’s become a successful analyst on TV and also hosts her own podcast, “She’s Got Time”. With her hiring, Cash becomes one of the most successful and visible women’s basketball minds added to the men’s game, including Spurs assistant coach and WNBA veteran Becky Hammon.
According to a story earlier this year by Reuters, four women across the league were in coaching roles this season across the NBA, with 18 in front office positions, including Kelly Krauskopf, who was hired as the Pacers assistant general manager in January. Liliahn Majeed also serves as the NBA’s vice president of diversity and inclusion.