The timing of Wizards' training camp in relation to the other residents of the Medstar Peformance Center in Ward 8 has allowed a collection of special guests to serve on their staff. The group has included assistants of the G-League's Capital City Go-Go and Kristi Toliver, the star point guard for the WNBA's Washington Mystics.
Toliver, 31, is fresh off a WNBA Finals run as a player, but has been able to test the coaching waters this summer. First as a member of Ryan Richman's staff with the Wizards' Las Vegas Summer League team and now with the NBA team, during training camp.
Though there are a lot of people and voices in the room at this point in the season, Toliver's impact has been felt.
"She's great. She's a woman who has a great IQ for the game of basketball," point guard John Wall said. "She knows how to play. You can pick her brain about certain things that we can see in the film room that she knows in the woman's game. She asked me certain questions about what I see in pick-and-rolls. We're just talking to each other and understanding things from a point guard perspective."
That last line has become a theme from several who have been asked about her presence at camp. Wall and his head coach, Scott Brooks, are admittedly partial in appreciating her perspective as a point guard.
Wall is currently one of the best in the NBA at the position and Brooks played point during his 10-year NBA career. Brooks believes her experience at point guard will go a long way in her hopes to become a full-time coach.
"I know I'm a little biased from a point guard standpoint, but point guards just see the game different because the game is in front of them," Brooks said.
"It's great to have her on the staff. When I met with her in Las Vegas, I told her that I've been following her for two years now, since she came over with the Mystics. I like her IQ. I like to be challenged and I like to be around coaches that think the game."
Toliver has played 10 seasons in the WNBA and is expected to be back with the Mystics next season as they make another run at a championship. Though Brooks likes having her around, he believes she should be in no rush to become a coach.
"She should play, I told her 'keep playing.' That's the best job in the world. This coaching thing, I don't know about it. I don't know what you're thinking. She should play as long as she can, but she's definitely going to be destined for greatness as a coach... I just like her. She has a way about her," he said.
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