• December 7, 2021

The Phoenix Mercury hires Earl Cureton as an assistant coach

Earl Cureton
Earl Cureton

The Phoenix Mercury hired Earl Cureton as an assistant coach for the 2012 WNBA season. Cureton joins head coach Corey Gaines and eight-year assistant coach Julie Hairgrove.

Cureton worked in the WNBA as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Sting in 2005-06 and for the Detroit Shock under head coach Rick Mahorn in 2009.

Previously, Cureton was an assistant coach alongside Gaines with the Long Beach Jam of the ABA under former Mercury head coach Paul Westhead. After Westhead left to be an assistant with the Orlando Magic, Cureton was named head coach of the Jam. He led the team to an ABA championship with Gaines on the sideline.

“Earl is a good friend of mine dating back to our playing days in the NBA,” Gaines said. “He has great basketball knowledge, with a specialty in defense and post play, and became familiar with coach Westhead’s system while we were in Long Beach. Earl is going to be a great addition to our team this season.”

A 12-year NBA veteran, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Cureton as the 58th overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft. Nicknamed “The Twirl”, he played for two championship teams, the 76ers in 1982-83 and the Houston Rockets in 1993-94. He also played for the Pistons, Bulls, Clippers, Hornets and Raptors.

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