Kings Hire 76ers' Lindsey Harding as Assistant on Luke Walton's Staff

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers player development coach Lindsey Harding looks on prior to the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Sacramento Kings hired former WNBA guard Lindsey Harding, who most recently served as a player-development coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, as an assistant coach on the staff of new head coach Luke Walton.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported the update Friday.

"Lindsey is a rising star and I'm so excited to have her join our incredibly experienced team of coaches," Walton told Shelburne. "Her basketball IQ and proven success on the court will be a valuable addition to our growing team."

Harding was a superstar for the Duke Blue Devils, winning Naismith College Player of the Year honors in 2007 before getting selected by the Phoenix Mercury with the first overall pick of the 2007 WNBA draft.

The 35-year-old Alabama native played 10 professional seasons split between the WNBA and a handful of teams overseas before her retirement in 2017 after a stint with Besiktas in Turkey.

She joined the Sixers' staff as a scout prior to the 2018-19 season and was promoted to the player-development role near the end of the campaign.

"Her love of the game shines through in everything she does, and I think that has a positive impact on everyone she comes across," Sixers general manager Elton Brand told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated in April. "She's a rising star in this industry."

Harding explained to Spears she's unsure whether her future is on the sideline or in the front office, but she's aiming to get people to view women candidates through the same lens as their male counterparts:

"No one has been unwelcoming. But there have been situations where you can talk to certain people that may want to downplay your accomplishments because it might not have been in the NBA—not to mention that these people might not have played either in the NBA. It's a very competitive industry to be in, whether on the court or off. I ran into things like that.

"Something as simple as me saying to certain people, 'Oh, you know, I'd love to be in the office or possibly run a team someday, go in that direction.' 'Oh, a WNBA team. That's great. I love the WNBA.' But I want people to think differently. I don't say bigger or smaller. I say, 'Think differently.' … You understand the game, you can learn just like everyone else. You have value. You have experience. Why not?"

The Kings previously announced Igor Kokoskov, Bob Beyer, Jesse Mermuys and Roy Rana as members of Walton's staff for the 2019-20 campaign.

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