On June 19, 2019, the New Orlean Pelicans announced that they hired former three-time WNBA Champion Swin Cash as their Vice President of Basketball Operations/Team Development.
Pelicans’ President of Basketball Operation, David Griffin, recently shared with me that he hired Cash because of her basketball acumen, the human she is and the things she cares about.
“So, Swin and I worked together at NBA TV with Turner [Sports] and spent a lot of time breaking down the game and analyzing a lot of the players, and I loved her basketball acumen,” Griffin told me. “But the human that she is the things that she cared about, her appreciation for family, her appreciation for the players, and for what it takes to build a family organization from a cultural standpoint that is she spoke to us.”
Before the Pelicans took on the Dallas Mavericks on March 4, 2020, I spoke with Cash to get her response to Griffin, hiring her for basketball acumen.
“I think it is great to have allies in this space that understand your background and what you bring to the table. David Griffin has been such a great supporter, and he is one of the main reasons why I took this position,” said Cash. “I was on a path, and I was on the media side, and I was working with the NBA as well as an associate and some other things. So, to make this shift in my career, you have to know you are going to be working with great people, and I have been afforded that opportunity to work with some really great people.”
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Dallas Wings coach Brian Agler coached Swin Cash for four-season in Seattle as part of the storm and won a championship in 2010.
“I coached Swin [Cash], and I know what kind of competitor she is. She is a winner, and she’s a prideful person, so she’s going to take a lot of pride in her job. So, she’s going to work that she can and do the best to be the best at her position,” said Agler. “There won’t be anyone better than Swin, and that is the person she is. She’s going to do the same thing in the office as she did on the basketball court. I’m happy for her, I’m proud of her, she’s a winner, and that was a tremendous hire for the Pelicans.”
I recently spoke with Cash to get her response to her former coach, Brian Agler’s comments.
“Brian has always said that, and when we connected in Seattle, he always told me that was my strongest suit. That I was an ultra-competitor, and I got after it, and it is a high compliment coming from a championship coach like him,” Cash told me.
Another former coach of Swin Cash in Seattle was Jenny Boucek, now an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks. Recently shared with me what made Cash an exceptional talent.
“I always used to joke, but it wasn’t a joke that the word win was in her first name because that is just what she does. She wasn’t necessarily the best player, but she got things done and found a way. That is what championship team and championship players do. They don’t make excuses, and they find a way to get things done,” said Boucek. “I can think of play after play, and big plays at that we either take a bad shot or it not a great play to get to the basket and Swin makes a play. She makes a cut, offensive rebound, a deflection on defense. She had a knack for that and was extremely competitive in every second of every day. It was a joy to work with her as a coach because of her fire.”
Did Boucek see Cash eventually being in a front office position during her playing days?
“Not necessarily specifically, I think Swin because of some of her personality traits and attributes. And some of the things that are we did off the court because we worked on and partnered as teammates off the court to encourage players. She was very proactive, her initiatives, her abilities, her passion for people, and her energy,” said Boucek.
“Off the court to do good in the world and for her to do her part was as evident as her competitive spirit on the floor. So, it is no surprise at all that is doing anything because she is so bright and is a servant at heart she could be a world-class doctor, lawyer, or she could be a CEO of a company. She could do anything she put her mind to.”
During her playing career, Cash averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game and was a four-time All-Star.