• October 19, 2021

New York Liberty coach Walt Hopkins on starting Layshia Clarendon and Sabrina Ionescu as floor generals

07-25-20- New York Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins before his coaching debut.
07-25-20- New York Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins in a Zoom presser before his coaching debut.

New York Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins met with the media briefly before his coaching debut. Here’s is what he had to say about his starting guard combo of Layshia Clarendon and Sabrina Ionescu plus his thoughts on his first outing as a WNBA head coach.

On staring Layshia Clarendon and Sabrina Ionescu together:

They really like playing with one another, you can tell. You put two people together who have high basketball IQs and you’re not going to have too much trouble finding chemistry there. So, in regards to those two, I think that there’s a lot to be excited about. There’s a lot of variabilities and what they can do on both ends of the court. They’re both strong guards. You might not think of Layshia as being a big guard but she’s extremely strong and scrappy and smart, so they can both guard, you know, bigger players, without sacrificing speed or decision making, shooting on the other end. So, they’re going to be a massive part of what we do. I don’t think you’re going to see too many lineup combinations where one of them isn’t on the floor. Because there they are generals, they’re the ones who are running the show.

On his first outing as a head coach:

As far as my coaching debut it’s moment by moment. Truly it’s the only way I know how to do it. I think it’s the only way that I can do it right now because there’s so many things going on, you know. There’s a little bit of nervousness anxiety, I guess, but no more than there would have been when I was a player, or as an assistant coach. I think, if I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to make mistakes. And, you know, me being nervous about it isn’t really gonna change that one way or the other, so more so I’m more focused on the things I can control and giving everything I can to this group to put them in positions to succeed.

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