An archaic WNBA rule that brought the league scrutiny, and roped in the Washington Wizards, one year ago is now set to change thanks to a proposed new collective bargaining agreement.
Kristi Toliver, a star guard for the WNBA's Washington Mystics, is also an assistant coach for the NBA's Wizards. But she isn't able to be compensated properly for her second job thanks to a league bylaw that stipulates WNBA teams are only allowed to pay players up to $50,000 for offseason work.
Some of that money had been set aside for teammate Elena Delle Donne last summer and $50,000 is well below what many NBA assistants make. But, according to the New York Times, the league is aiming to change that rule in part to encourage the development of future coaches across the sport.
The rule became national news just over a year ago thanks to a New York Times report that highlighted Toliver's situation with the Wizards. Ted Leonsis, who owns both the Mystics and Wizards, tweeted about the story at the time, suggesting he wished Toliver could be paid more.
"The league rules and collective bargaining agreements never contemplated having a WNBA player also working as an NBA coach. We’re glad to be the first and the rules need to change. Kristi is a critical member of our family at Monumental Sports," he wrote.
Toliver is now in her second season on the Wizards' bench. She also helped lead the Mystics to their first WNBA title in the summer of 2019.
She has been a key figure for two Washington basketball teams. Now, as long as the league ratifies the CBA, she will finally get paid what she's worth.
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