Kristi Toliver of WNBA’s LA Sparks Joining Mavericks As Assistant Coach

WNBA player Kristi Toliver as a member of the Wizards coaching staff

Los Angeles Sparks’ veteran and two-time WNBA champion Kristi Toliver is joining the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd’s staff.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news:

Toliver, 34, spent two seasons on the Washington Wizards coaching staff which led to a change in the WNBA collective bargaining agreement.

The provision, known as the “Toliver Provision,” permits a WNBA team affiliate (such as the Wizards) to “hire a player for offseason basketball coaching or basketball operations services and pay her at a competitive market rate,” per The Washington Post.

Last year, before the change, Toliver made just $10,000 as a full-time Wizards’ assistant coach.

The Harrisonburg, Virginia native was the No.3 overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft after winning the NCAA title at the University of Maryland.

Toliver is a 12-year veteran, four-time Russian National League champion, and two-time EuroLeague champion.

She was named 2012 Most Improved Player and has been to three All-Star games.

She was a two-time WNBA champ, once with the LA Sparks in 2016 and once with the Washington Mystics in 2019, the Team’s first., once with the LA Sparks in 2016

She has career averages of 12.2 points and 3.5 assists per game and had previously spoken of pursuing a coaching job in the NBA.

Toliver returned to the Sparks but sat out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In her 15 games this season for LA, she’s averaging 9.5 points and 2.7 assists per game in 27.7 minutes of action.

Following the Olympic break, she returned from an eye injury and helped the Sparks (8-13) to an overtime win.

The Sparks are out of playoff contention, in 10th place, trailing the Dallas Wings by one game as the start of the WNBA playoffs are only a few days away.

The WNBA postseason kicks off on September 23rd, and the NBA preseason begins in October.