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Kristi Toliver joins the Mavericks as an assistant coach

She earned high praise from her current coach, Derek Fisher.

Atlanta Dream v Los Angeles Sparks Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks’ coaching staff is growing. Thursday, ESPN reported that two-time WNBA champion Kristi Toliver is joining Jason Kidd’s staff as an assistant.

Toliver, who is in her twelfth season as a player in the WNBA, comes to the Mavericks with NBA coaching experience already under her belt. In 2018, she joined the Washington Wizards as an assistant under then head coach Scott Brooks.

Upon the announcement of her decision to join Dallas’ coaching staff, Toliver took to Twitter to express her gratitude.

“Thank you all for the love and support entering this new journey with the [Dallas Mavericks],” she wrote. “So thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get to work.”

While she may not be new to the game, so to speak, she comes with high praise. Derek Fisher, her current head coach with the Los Angeles Sparks and former Mavericks point guard, says that she will do well in her new role.

“I think, in order to be a good coach, you need an understanding of the game to some degree,” Fisher said in a recent press conference. “I think she’s a student of basketball—that she really loves it. So, I think those things really help. I think her experience as a player really helps because she’s been in a lot of the situations that you’re talking to someone about—pick and roll defensive situations or getting to your spots offensively and getting your shot off late in the game. She’s been there before.

“So, she has all the ingredients and she’s intentional about it. She really wants to do it. I Think she’s going to do very well. Her experience in Washington—I think for players in Dallas, they’ll be able to see it’s not just something she decided all of a sudden that she wanted to do. She’s been pretty clear about this for the last few years and I’m really happy for her that she’s going to have that opportunity.”

Toliver is still under contract with the Sparks through the 2022 season. Her coaching position with the Mavericks would not interfere with her playing career.

In her 12-year career in the WNBA, she has averages of 12.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists. She is a three-time WNBA All-Star and won championships with the Sparks in 2016 and Washington Mystics in 2019.