Celtics hire Kara Lawson to be assistant coach

The Boston Celtics have hired former WNBA and Olympic champion Kara Lawson as an assistant coach, the team announced Wednesday.

Lawson, an ESPN analyst, also has been a television analyst for the Washington Wizards for the past three seasons and has contemplated several coaching opportunities in recent years before landing with Boston.

She joins a growing group of female coaches on NBA benches this season, including San Antonio's Becky Hammon, Dallas' Jenny Boucek and Cleveland's Lindsay Gottlieb.

Lawson had talked to several NBA teams about on-court coaching roles in recent years, but the chance to work with coach Brad Stevens and with the Celtics organization convinced her and her agent, CAA's Bret Just, to accept an offer, league sources said.

Lawson is well-regarded for a playing career that included three trips to the Final Four under legendary coach Pat Summitt at Tennessee and 12 seasons as a point guard in the WNBA.

The 38-year-old has been coaching USA Basketball's 3-on-3 teams that are participating in FIBA competitions and preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She was a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Games.