The Philadelphia 76ers are promoting Lindsey Harding to Player Development Coach, according to team press release:
PHILADELPHIA – APRIL 10, 2019 – Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand announced today that the team has promoted Lindsey Harding to Player Development Coach.
“Lindsey Harding has quickly become a valued member of our organization and she possesses a great basketball mind,” said 76ers General Manager Elton Brand. “Promoting Lindsey to Player Development Coach was a natural fit and our players and staff will greatly benefit from her extensive basketball experience. We look forward to the work she will do on and off the court, in further developing our roster.”
In her new role, Harding’s primary responsibility will be to monitor and continuously develop players’ skillsets through on-court training and daily film breakdown. She will assist the player development department in executing the on-court player development program while supporting the players’ off-court development as well. Harding joined the organization prior to the 2018-19 season and served as a pro personnel scout, observing talent at games throughout the country and abroad.
“I am very excited about Lindsey’s promotion to Player Development Coach,” said 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown. “Her many years of basketball experiences and success, will certainly be a welcomed addition to our very diverse and growing coaching staff. The development of our players from a skill acquisition and holistic standpoint, have always been at the forefront of our objectives. Her personality, work ethic and spirit will only add to her ability to coach and help us develop our players. I think she’s going to be a star.”
Harding has served as a scout for the organization since August 2018. At the time, Brett Brown said the following of Harding:
“Lindsey has quickly become one of the game’s bright young minds in basketball operations. Having graduated from the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associates Program last season, Lindsey is applying the same grit and basketball IQ she used as a player in her move to the front office. We look forward to the work Lindsey will do to help grow our program and further solidify a culture of winning. It’s no secret how much I value the culture we’ve built in Philadelphia and how much a family-like atmosphere means to our program. Lindsey is a leader, and she is a welcomed addition to the 76ers family. I look forward to working with her.”
Harding not only knows basketball, but knows the career of a professional athlete as well. When we think about player development, we typically think about on-court skills. However, there is an increasing emphasis around the NBA on helping professional basketball players grow off the court as well. I think the effects of this movement can only be positive, as anyone with a job knows how much personal life, emotions, and goals can bleed into career performance and conversely how a career can become part of one’s identity. Given Harding’s background as a professional athlete, she should be an ideal coach when it comes to the on- and off- court development of Sixers players.
The promotion makes Harding the first ever woman to be named to the Sixers’ coaching staff. The move appears to be part of a trend that signals that the Sixers are shifting away from outdated approaches to cultural and organizational development, pursuing the best candidates on the market, period. (Recall that back in January, the Sixers hired Annelie Schmittel as VP of Player Development.)