Nancy Lieberman Rumors
The wildly talented Cousins is a lot of things, but he’s no dummy. He sees the justifiable criticism of Ranadive, whose refusal to stand by the only NBA coach who truly connected with Cousins, Michael Malone, in Dec. 2014 was one of the many plot twists that helped cause this mess. He sees the in-fighting on the coaching staff, with assistant coach Nancy Lieberman identified as a Ranadive confidante and thus unofficially exiled by Karl months ago.
To be more specific, Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac fired an assistant coach in Vance Walberg who had longtime ties to Karl. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, concerns about Walberg’s relationships with the team’s players was a major concern that had everything to do with the move. What’s more, friction with fellow assistant coach Nancy Lieberman only made matters worse.
“I think it’s been good,” said Karl, who for years had contemplated hiring a female assistant. “Sometimes I think we (head coaches) have been too macho about this for too long. Everybody connects with people differently, and some players communicate better with women. That’s why you want three or four assistants. With Nancy, obviously she knows the game. But the best thing she does is connect one-on-one with the players. She can take hard subjects and go to a player, and that’s very unusual in a young coach.” If you didn’t know the Kings had added a female to the coaching staff, you could attend a practice and sense nothing out of the ordinary. Lieberman blends in, dressed in the off-day uniform of baggy shorts, sweatshirt and sneakers, with her strawberry-colored hair tugged back into a ponytail.
Game time is an entirely different matter. Lieberman, who describes herself as an enthusiastic “buyer,” not a “shopper,” has a wardrobe so varied and colorful that fans behind the bench often shout, “What are you wearing next game, Nancy?” “I tell them, ‘You have to come and see,’ ” she said with a laugh. “You know me. In the big picture of life, I get a lot of attention. I’m not starved for attention by any means. I’ve been a star, but now I’m a role player and I’m just trying to fit in. You have to humble yourself. And I’m learning a lot. It’s very demanding with practices, games, watching tape, getting back on the court with players. You really don’t have a lot of time to yourself. But if you’re going to do it, you have to be all in.”
Ric Bucher of Bleacher: The belief still is it’s a matter of when, not if, Karl will be removed as the head coach. If that should happen during this season, the short-term answers are, according to owner Vivek Ranadivé – or sources say – he would like to move Nancy Lieberman into the head-coaching position, making a big splash by having the first female head coach in NBA history. Vlade Divac, the GM is more inclined to fill with Corliss Williamson for the remainder of the season. But Ranadivé’s biggest dream is to have Kentucky coach John Calipari come out and coach this roster full of Kentucky players.