Maybe new blood can help the huge dumpster fire that is currently ablaze in Portland. Former WNBA player and assistant coach of the Washington Mystics Asjha Jones will be joining the Portland Trailblazers’ front office. In an effort to change their fortune and make moves needed to secure a play-in spot for the upcoming tournament, Portland hopes Asjha can change that. The Oylpimic gold medalist will join the front office as their new Director of Basketball Strategy. Asjha Jones’ career, both on and off the court, proves that she’s more than capable of the upcoming task with Portland.
Currently, Asjha Jones is the only woman in basketball history to win both an NCAA and WNBA championship. In 2012, Jones won the Euroleague Women Final Eight MVP, bringing overseas experience. Asjha Jones has had a career many would dream of and has the back to the basket to provide knowledge at the forward position. After her WNBA career finished, Jones spent some time as a player development assistant coach in 2019 with Mystics, who in the WNBA Finals that same year.
Asjha played 11 years in the WNBA, and according to her WNBA player profile, she was selected by Washington (4th overall) in the 2002 WNBA Draft. The Mystics signed and traded Jones to the Connecticut Sun in a three-team deal.
After the news broke headlines, in that statement, current Mystics head coach Mike Thibault had this to say:
“Asjha has been an important part of our success the past several years. While I am sad to see her leave on both a professional and personal level, I am excited for her and the opportunity in front of her in Portland,” said Thibault. “She will be a tremendous asset to the Trail Blazers organization. I have known Asjha since I first began coaching her in Connecticut in 2004 and she is one of the best all-around pros, on and off the court, that I have had the pleasure to be associated with. All of us here wish her well in her new job.”
The Portland Trailblazers are in a tailspin downward. They are second to last in defense, something the team needs to fix in order to save their season. Portland has lost 4 of their last 10 games as Zach Collins nurses a season-ending injury with the potential to rejoin the Blazers if they should make it to the playoffs. Signs all point to the leader of the team, Damian Lillard, as he struggled in their last game against the Utah Jazz. His late April hamstring injury has put a damper on his playing ability as the team continues to push on. In one of the most crucial points in an NBA season, clear signs of change is needed in Portland.