Silver wants half of new NBA refs to be women

7:25 PM ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants half of all new referees joining the league to be women — and he would like to see teams hire female coaches, too.

In an appearance Thursday for The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Silver said two of the past five refs added from the developmental G League were women, bringing the total number of female officials to three.

“It’s an area, frankly, where I’ve acknowledged that I’m not sure how it was that it remained so male-dominated for so long. Because it’s an area of the game where physically, certainly, there’s no benefit to being a man, as opposed to a woman, when it comes to refereeing,” Silver said.

Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs was the NBA’s first full-time female assistant. Commissioner Adam Silver says “there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.” Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

“The goal is: Going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league. Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.”

There has never been a female head

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