Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb
Making history as the first women’s college basketball coach to make the jump to the NBA, Lindsay Gottlieb navigates not only a career change as a wife and mother–but doing so during unprecedented times in American history. She reflects fondly of her time at Cal, calling it the best experience of her life along with what went into the decision to move to Cleveland. Gottlieb tells Dave what she’s seen first-hand with bigotry as a coach and how the killing of George Floyd resonates with her and the rest of the NBA. What she did to break into coaching will stretch the boundaries of what most believe of the concept of “above and beyond” as an example of passionate goal setting. The self-described “basketball nerd” gives her family credit for instilling a willingness to take chances in life and to “go for things that scare us.”
Lindsay Gottlieb Makes Smooth Adjustment to the NBA in Troubled Times
"People think I care about these issues because I have a black husband or a biracial son and I tell people, actually, the time it impacted me most closely was coaching a mostly black team at Cal and seeing the world through their eyes and the experiences they went through. We flew commercial and would be going through security and inevitably someone would get stopped and searched. And it wasn't me...ever. And watching the way some commentators and fans talked about these women you and I knew so intimately, it was hurtful sometimes to hear some of the language used."
"It's really an opportunity for me to try and get better as a person, as a coach, as a human being and as a family member. I say it all the time. 'I'm not afraid to learn.' And so I'm using every opportunity that I can to learn something new. Everybody's on Zoom; everybody's on Facetime chats. I'm doing a lot of audio books. I'm trying to read from and hear everything I possibly can. It's a great opportunity to just grow."
"I believe we all have depression at certain times of our lives. I believe all have highs too high and lows too low and that's part of being a human being. It's how you deal with those and it's being able to talk to friends, family, teammates, coaches, co-workers and find a safe place where you can admit 'I'm not okay.' And that's what we hope that this documentary leads to."
"You cannot get caught up on the results and you have to really focus on the process because there could be a variety of reasons why people get booked certain jobs and why sometimes it doesn't work out. I think it's the matter of being the best you can be and the role will find you. ...'Everyone else is taken, You have to be yourself.' I think Oscar Wilde said that and that's true because you can't get hung up on the results. You're going to have good auditions and you're going to have auditions that miss the mark and I've had those as well. It's about enjoying, staying in the moment and the results will ultimately take care of themselves.
"Because I have a vast amount of experience in sales as well, and I think the rejection is something you have to deal with in a very positive way. It's like you may have done a fine job but maybe you're just not the best fit. It's about the recognition of auditioning, I think it may have been Bryan Cranston I saw talk about this or Al Pacino...where they talk about,'That's your five minutes. That's your work for today. You do get to act today and it just happens to be in the audition. And to embrace that I think is very important."
"I think it's foolish to believe that teams don't have some type of dysfunction within them regardless of their record and place in the standings. And this, obviously has gone public But I feel this is more trending toward a bump in the road than an implosion because those guys realize how special it is what they have and I think they'll be hungry to rekindle it and get back to that level of play soon.