The Los Angeles Lakers hired former WNBA and USC standout Shay Murphy to their coaching staff as a coaching associate, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. She will join John Lucas III and David Fizdale along with returning coaching staff members Phil Handy, Mike Penberthy, Quinton Crawford and Miles Simon on the Lakers’ staff.
The Lakers have added former WNBA player Shay Murphy as a coaching associate, sources told ESPN. The L.A.-area native attended USC and had a pro career that spanned more than a decade overseas and in the WNBA, where she won a title with Phoenix in 2014. pic.twitter.com/CSzkd7pw0F— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 3, 2021
Murphy played collegiate basketball at USC for four seasons before going into the WNBA when the Minnesota Lynx selected her with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA draft. Her basketball career lasted over a decade between playing overseas and a WNBA career that ended in 2017. In 2014, Murphy was on the WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury squad.
In an interview with the WNBA In ’07, Murphy revealed that the Lakers were the inspiration to pick up a basketball in the first place:
“…The story goes like this: I was actually doing karate, hapkido, and I saw these kids wearing these YMCA junior Lakers jerseys. They all had purple shorts with the gold Lakers sign on them. I thought those were so cool. I wanted one of the jerseys,” Murphy said then. “My mom said, OK, you have to choose (basketball or karate). And I said, I want that, and that’s how I started playing basketball, and I still have my yellow junior Lakers jersey.”
Now it appears that Shay Murphy is the first woman hired for a coaching role in Lakers history, and is one of a select few in NBA history.