Texas Legends' Coach Is Legend in Her Own Right

North Texas D-League team has leagues first female head coach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images for The Billies
    Texas Legends head coach Nancy Lieberman is a two-time Olympian and Hall of Fame Inductee.

    Jason Terry of the Mavericks called her the "Michael Jordan of women's basketball." His nickname is not far off from the truth.

    Nancy Lieberman is a two-time Olympian, Hall of Fame Inductee, who also played and coached in the WNBA. Now she can add first female head coach of an NBA Development League team to her long and impressive resume.

    The Frisco's Texas Legends played on their home court for the first time in franchise history at Dr Pepper Arena on Tuesday.

    Mavericks owner Mark Cuban showed up for the historic game, along with hundreds of fans.

    "I think it's awesome that's the coach," said Marilyne Wilson, a Legends fan who brought her daughter to the game. "It's pretty cool. I wish her the best of luck."

    Shirley Staten said she sees Lieberman as a role model.

    "She still has a feminine side. She has the roughness for the game, but she still has the softness as a lady," she said.

    As coach of the Legends, Lieberman's players may one day end up on the Mavericks roster, or vice versa.

    "I love the fact that Rick and the Mavericks trust us with their incredibly talented players," she said.

    Legends owner Donnie Nelson said he always knew Lieberman was the right person for the job. Before hiring her, Nelson said he wanted to see how the players would respond to her.

    "About the second practice, she became coach," said Nelson, who also the Mavericks' general manager. "She wasn't a woman that was coaching a men's team. She became just coach."

    "We knew that it would be normal," Lieberman said. "Men for the most -- I mean let's face it -- as women, we've been telling men what do our whole lives as moms, grandmothers, ex-wives or sisters."

    She said she is aware of her status as a role model, but says there is one job she treasures most.

    "I really want to be T.J.'s mom," she said. "That's the most important thing in my life."

    What of naysayers who say a woman can't coach men?

    "I tell them to buy a ticket and come watch us play," Lieberman said.

    "Well, let's see," Nelson said. "We are 2-1. We just won two tough ones on the road, and the proof is in the pudding."