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Blazers Assistant Coach Edniesha Curry Drawing Praise in Year One

Anne M. Peterson of AP News took a closer look at Curry’s success in blazing her own trail as a Portland assistant.

Portland Trail Blazers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers entered the 2021-22 campaign with one of the NBA’s more diverse coaching and training staff. Under first-year head coach Chauncey Billups, they’ve undergone a seismic shift down the bench. Among those who’ve drawn praise for their work in Year One of this regime is Edniesha Curry. In her piece today, Anne M. Peterson of AP News helped magnify the ways in which Curry has developed a strong rapport with Billups, and how in the process she’s setting trends and history to follow.

This season, Curry made history as the first woman to hold a spot as an assistant coach on a Trail Blazers bench. She’s a part of a rare group of only six women assistant coaches across the NBA in 2021-22. When asked, Billups praised her attention to detail and IQ, something that helped the two grow synergy and ultimately helped Curry earn the opportunity:

“We probably talked on the phone for an hour. I interviewed some other candidates but I just loved Eddie,” Billups said. “I thought she was just so brilliant. She was smart. She was confident. She knew her stuff. She knew the NBA game more than I’d thought for somebody that’s been in college for so long. Her player evaluations, I thought, were on point.”

Becoming the first or new is nothing new to Curry; as Peterson notes, she was the only woman assistant head coach among the NCAA’s Division I circuit in 2018-19. The Trail Blazers have made it a focus to have inclusiveness as a focal point among their staff.

“Curry isn’t the only woman in a high-profile position within the Blazers organization. Jessica Cohen was recently promoted to head athletic trainer — becoming the only woman to currently hold the post in the NBA. Asjha Jones is director of planning and strategy, while Sheri Sam is scouting director. Both are former WNBA players.”

Over the rest of the article, Peterson hits on Curry’s mentality on coaching and diversity, a briefing on recent history with women’s coaching, and Curry’s path as a player and coach prior to this point.