Swin Cash Rumors
Swin Cash: When we talk about culture building, it’s just really having a background and understanding of what winning looks like, what success on all levels looks like, how you build, how you get consensus. A lot of it is intention to detail, the process. I’m a really process-oriented person. But I also am heavy on the basketball side when it comes to working with Griff [executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin] and [general manager] Trajan [Langdon] in our front office, as far as strategy, team-building, evaluating talent from a scout standpoint, so it’s all of those things.
Now that you’re really immersed in the job, have you seen gains across the NBA in terms of more women getting hired, including more Black women, as coaches or in front offices? Swin Cash: I think with COVID, this whole pandemic, bubbles and everything else, I got hired and haven’t had one normal NBA season yet. … I give a lot of credit across the league to teams. There was a wave when I came in of women hires and then you saw Niele [Ivey] and Kara [Lawson] and other people go back to the women’s game or college, and you would think that that may slow down the process, or people were like, ‘Oh man, we had these great hires and they left.’ But then you look and then ‘alright, here’s the next wave coming in.’
What David Stern did for the sport of basketball transcended any gender bias and opened a whole new world for women in the game. NBA commissioner from 1984 to 2014, Stern was the key figure in the formation and operation of the WNBA in 1997. That bold move paved the way for Stern, who died Jan. 1, 2020, to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Stern was joined in the induction class by former players Tamika Catchings, Swin Cash, Lauren Jackson and Debbie Brock, along with contributors Carol Callan, Sue Donohoe and Carol Stiff.
One of your main responsibilities as a leader within the Pelicans organization is to help that franchise establish a certain type of culture. What does that look like to you? Swin Cash: That looks like everything. Our culture, people use it and sometimes it’s one of those catchy, cliché words. But it’s just literally how you do business. How do we do business here in New Orleans? How do we take care of our players? How do we take care of our staff? When people come here, what are their expectations that are set? Is this department or that department operating in lockstep with the other one? Being a part of other winning organizations has helped me see how things kind of operate together. Being here and being able to apply different strategies, being able to streamline things, that’s what you look for. How we do business is how we create culture.
When you were working with Griffin at NBA TV, you engaged in plenty of conversations about the game and the players. Some of those conversations had to have gotten intense, right? Swin Cash: Well, it was never just Griff and I getting intense. You know everybody else is in there, too. I think the greatest thing about Turner is we all could sit there in a space and have conversations, whether it’s about the games going on, pop culture, things that are happening, all of that. It doesn’t matter if you’re on NBA TV or the guys on Inside, everybody’s still there. That is what created where Candace [Parker] is right now, where Allie [LaForce] is and Stephanie [Ready]. Those are my girls. Working with them and being in that same space, it never was the guys saying, ‘Oh, that’s the female over there.’ We were all talking hoops. I think that level of respect is something that was appreciated. With Griff coming from winning championships, having his success and coming up through the ranks of the NBA, I think he was probably evaluating me at the time, and I had no clue.
Paul Pierce, Doug Collins, Michael Cooper and Lauren Jackson headline the group of first-time nominees for the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, announced Tuesday on ESPN’s The Jump. Also joining the first-time group is Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman and Yolanda Griffith, to go with popular returning candidates Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Richard Hamilton, Becky Hammon, Swin Cash and Ben Wallace.